“You will receive ____ when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
(Acts 1: 8)
Those were the final words of Jesus to his disciples before his Ascension. But what’s the missing word? What do they need? There are plenty of things that would be useful for their mission: money, for a start. We could imagine them saying: “Sorry, Lord, our current budget won’t allow that.”
More seriously, what about: clear understanding of the scriptures, skill at public speaking, ability to learn languages, good social skills, love, self-control, patience, endurance, inner peace, good health, etc. etc.? All good , useful things, and the Holy Spirit could, does, help with them all.
But the missing word is “POWER”. “You will receive power…” The Greek word is “dynamis”, from which we get the words “dynamic”, “dynamo” and “dynamite”. Stuart wrote on Sunday about an explosion and a storm, fire and wind. That’s what the Holy Spirit is like.
We are Christ’s disciples now, we are the ones who are to be his witnesses to the end of the earth, and so often that power is missing. We need the Spirit’s power in our lives. We pray at the end of the Eucharist, “Send us out in the power of your Spirit”, but do we really mean it? Can we be his witnesses today without that power in our lives?
It’s not human power. It doesn’t depend on our strength or our intelligence. It’s supernatural power, power from God, and available to each one of us. “Ask and you shall receive.” It’s yours for the asking. But, if you ask, be prepared for anything that may happen!
St Paul says “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12, 10) When he is aware of his own weakness, he has to rely on that power that comes from God. It is then that the healings, the miracles, the conversions happen.
And so it will be for us.
“Come Holy Spirit, fill our weakness with your power, for you are dynamite.”
Revd. David Newman.