John had always wanted a parrot. He was amazed when his friends clubbed together and bought him a beautiful bird for his birthday; but there was a problem. The parrot had a bad attitude, and even worse, bad language. John did his best to change its vocabulary by using polite words and playing soft music, but it was to no avail. He eventually was at the end of his tether, so he shouted at the bird, and the bird was even more obnoxious. In desperation John grabbed the parrot and put him in the freezer. The bird squawked and screamed for a few minutes, then there was silence. Fearing that he’d hurt the parrot he opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out on to John’s outstretched arm and said, I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and attitude. I am sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behaviour. John was stunned at the change in the bird’s attitude. He was about to ask what had brought about the change when the parrot gently said, Might I ask what the turkey did?
It will soon be Whit Sunday – the time when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to those with an attitude problem. The church of that time believed that faith in God was the preserve of the few. Religion was beset with rules and regulations. Far from helping people to have a deep and meaningful relationship with the living God the church was plagued with bad attitudes and divisions. So Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to bring about change and enable believers to live in truth. Living in truth is a consecration – a making holy. It means letting go of opinions and attitudes that hinder and divide us. It means asking the Holy Spirit to bear fruit in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control, humility, gentleness and faithfulness. Such characteristics are evidence of His presence. In this season of Pentecost we thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit, evident in the life of our church today, and pray that in these days of false news and division he will continue to lead us into all truth.
May God bless you during this season with His love and joy and peace.
Revd Tom Johns
1st May 2018