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22 May to 28 May

Grand Ouest – Perigueux to Angers

The flame of the Sprit

It will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams. (Acts 2;17)

As a child, my father used to tell us stories of explorers venturing into unknown lands, discovering the treasures that this world can offer, braving extreme temperatures to reach unexplored territories. In my 10m² room, in this big city in France, I dreamed of crossing oceans by sailboat, the tundra by Trans-Siberian railway, and the high plateaus of Ladakh on foot.

A few years later, as I endeavored to make these dreams a reality, I proposed to my father a more technical adventure: to cross the frozen Lake Baikal from west to east, at its narrowest point. Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and is teeming with endemic species studied by scientists. So, a few months later, with crampons on our feet, we found ourselves on the western shore of the lake, ready to cross the “Pearl of Siberia,” accompanied by a local guide, a geologist who grew up on the shores of the lake. What could possibly go wrong?

It was unusually warm that winter, and the ice was starting to melt. On the third day, as we walked on the lake, we heard what sounded like an explosion: it was the ice cracking beneath our feet. At that moment, I realized that even though I had read the accounts of these great adventurers, I did not have that adventurous spirit within me, and at the slightest trial, I was completely lost. Similarly, we need more than just Jesus’ teachings to live the divine life to which He has called us. We need the life of Jesus! We need His Spirit within us.

Fortunately for us, God poured out His Spirit on believers, described for the first time in the book of Acts 2:1–18. And it is this Pentecost celebration that Christians around the world just commemorated last Sunday. Today, we will therefore examine three significant breakthroughs resulting from this particular moment – and their significance for you and me.

Breakthrough One: The Outpouring of the Spirit Before this moment in God’s people’s history, the Spirit filled individuals chosen for a specific purpose. It was not something permanent. But the moment described in the above verses was different. The disciples received the Holy Spirit permanently. Now, the Holy Spirit brings the presence and power of the resurrected Jesus to His people and to this broken world.

Breakthrough Two: The Outpouring is for Everyone Young and old, men and women… everyone can have this Spirit. There is no “special” group of people who have exclusive access to the fullness of the Spirit. For to anyone open to receiving Jesus – and that includes us, you and me – His Spirit comes.

Breakthrough Three: A New Power for Living Let us not forget that, just before this, Jesus’ disciples were hiding, fearing for their lives. They had just seen their master crucified and feared they might be next. But then came the Spirit – and that same group of brothers and sisters courageously rose to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection. And the best part of all this? The power that drove them is the same power that lives in you and me: the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reflection: Are you trying to live your walk with Jesus through your own intellect, skills, or willpower? In a marriage, you pronounce your vows once, but the quality of your relationship is a daily decision. Similarly, we receive the Spirit of God once, but it is our daily relationship with Jesus that fuels the flame of His Spirit within us. How can you cultivate this relationship?

pecific Prayer: Father, thank you for giving us the Spirit of your Son Jesus who will never leave us. Keep us in our relationship with you and transform us by the power of the Spirit to bear this hope that we have to transmit to this world that so desperately needs it. I pray for the Grand Ouest region, that the churches and local communities may experience this relational dimension during the Olympics and afterward as well. Amen.

Personal Introduction: Audrey Harrison became a Christian at the age of seventeen in Australia within a seaside church and the Christian Surfers ministry. She now lives in Hossegor with her husband and children and works for the local church and Christian Surfers.

Project coordination : Fred Menigoz
Illustrations/conception : Catherine Jegu
Translations : Maelle Moungounga, Caroline Sans, Tom Hawkins.

Project coordination : Fred Menigoz
Illustrations/conception : Catherine Jegu
Translations : Maelle Moungounga, Caroline Sans, Tom Hawkins.