Reflection for Monday 16th May 2022

The Rev’d Roger Elks

Click here for the text of the reflection

Hello. This is a true story of an absent-minded vicar who went to visit somebody riding his bike. He went in for a cup of tea. He left the bike outside. When he came out, he forgot that he’d cycled there and he walked all the way home. And when he got home, he tried to work out where his bike was. And then he remembered. So he rang up the parishioner and said, “Well, look, I’ll come next week. I don’t need it till then”. So he walked the next week to go and visit the parishioner, and he went in and the chap said, “Well, you come on in for a cup of tea. Vicar you’ve walked all this way”. So we came in and had a cup of tea, a nice chat, came out, forgot his bike and walked home again.

Well, we all have lapses of memory, don’t we? Things that we forget. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples so that they might remember what He taught them. Let me read to you the passage from John 14, verses 21 to 26.

John 14:21-26

New International Version

21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Well, we all long to remember things, don’t we? There is a saint of forgotten things. Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. And the little prayer goes like this.

“Saint Anthony, please look around.
Something is lost and must be found”.

Well, we have more than Saint Anthony to help us. We have the Holy Spirit, who Jesus described as the advocate, the teacher and the reminder. The Advocate who argues for us and helps us understand, the teacher who explains those things which we need to understand, and the one who reminds us; reminds us of the lessons that we already know that need to come to the forefront of our minds. That great Holy Spirit, whom we will celebrate in a few weeks in Pentecost, is such a great asset to Christians. But of course, it’s only an asset, only a gift, only an advocate, a teacher and a reminder if we listen. So spending time each day, as you are now in this reflection, giving God time to speak, giving the Holy Spirit time to remind us and to teach us. Giving that world, which is so much of a rush a lesson to stand outside our lives and allow the Holy Spirit to speak.

So don’t rush as we listen to God. Let the Holy Spirit speak through the Scriptures, through our consciences, through our minds, through other people, as God, uses others to speak to us. And perhaps also why don’t you make notes? Make notes of the things that the Holy Spirit says to you, a little diary, so that as you reflect on them and look at them, you will be reminded of the things that Jesus has spoken. God, the Holy Spirit will use those memories and notes. Perhaps you could write a journal or write in the passage in your Bible? The scriptures themselves were those things written down that the Holy Spirit had revealed to the disciples. They were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that’s why we have them today. God still speaks today.

Holy Spirit. Help us to remember what we have been taught. And help us to put God’s word into action. Amen

Almighty God,

who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us

you put into our minds good desires,

so by your continual help

we may bring them to good effect;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen