Sunday 22 April 2012

 Read Luke 24:33-43

‘He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?”’ (v. 38).

It is hardly surprising that the disciples were troubled. They had been on a roller coaster of a journey: the joy of Palm Sunday, the despair of Good Friday and then the awe-inspiring Easter Sunday. As well as the emotional confusion, the disciples were struggling to make intellectual sense of all that was happening. No wonder they were troubled and had some doubts in their minds. It is not easy to find yourself on a fast-moving journey, not knowing exactly where you are heading and everything is rapidly changing. ‘Stop the world, I want to get off!’ would be an understandable response.

This journey is headed towards Pentecost; the coming of the Spirit; the birth of the Church. The journey does not end there. Two thousand years later the Holy Spirit is still active and moving the Church forward.

As one retraces the route taken it is evident that there have been many times when confusion has been linked to the Holy Spirit. Denominations have been thrown into disarray, local churches have been convulsed by disagreement and individual Christians have been troubled with doubts arising in their minds. Indeed through the ages there have been many people who at the very mention of the Holy Spirit would cry, ‘Stop!’

When Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth he was dealing with a church that was being convulsed by disagreement. He responded by giving clear teaching about the Holy Spirit: it includes this important truth, ‘For God is not a God of disorder but of peace’ (1 Corinthians 14:33).

If the Holy Spirit is prompting us to move forward, why does that sometimes result in confusion?

By Evelyn Merriam (image courtesy of NASA)
From Words of Life - The Salvation Army's daily Bible reading notes series
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