Reflection by Pastor Shawn:
As we look to Pentecost Sunday in a few days, I’ve been reflecting on the Holy Spirit. I’ve found this passage by a theologian named Clark Pinnock to be helpful.
“The first act of the risen Lord was to breathe the Spirit on the disciples and send them forth into mission (Jn 20:21-22; Acts 1:8). This alerts us to the fact that the effectiveness of the church is due not to human competency or programming but to the power of God at work. The church rides the wind of God’s Spirit like a hawk endlessly and effortlessly circling and gliding in the summer sky. It ever pauses to wait for impulses of power to carry it forward to the nations. What a dynamic and hopeful image to cherish in a day when thinking about the church is often heavy and pessimistic. The main rationale of the church is to actualize all the implications of baptism in the Spirit.
After the resurrection, God’s kingdom, which had begun to manifest itself in Jesus himself, would continue to transform the world through the community of empowered disciples. The church is an extension not so much of the incarnation as the anointing of Jesus. Jesus is the prototype of the church, which now receives its own baptism in the Spirit. Spirit, who maintained Jesus’ relationship with the Father and empowered him for mission, now calls the church into that relationship, giving it the power to carry on the mission. There had to be, after Jesus’ departure, a colony of heaven, living the life and power and experiencing the freedom of the kingdom. Spirit indwells the church as a perpetual Pentecost and communicates gifts to its members. Spirit ecclesiology focuses not on the quality of the members but on the power of God at work in and through them.”
Clark Pinnock, “Flame of Love: A Theology of The Holy Spirit”, pp 113-114