We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.

The Nicene Creed reaffirms our belief in the Holy Spirit who is Lord and giver of life. This statement of faith makes the point that the Holy Spirit is God and not a mere creature. The Holy Spirit is a person who gives us more than natural life; he is the one who enables Christians to share in God‘s supernatural life.

As the giver of life the Holy Spirit is always prompting us to change our lives so as to enjoy the true life which God offers to us. God’s life cannot be enjoyed unless we enter into a loving relationship with Christ and allow him to lead us into all truth. But this can only be experienced when we confess our sins and change our way of living. The Feast of Pentecost is a challenge to change our lives. The watch word is CHANGE. Change or decay; that is, if we do not change, our lives we will continue to experience spiritual death. One of our well known hymns says “change and decay in all around I see’, this is not the message of Pentecost. Pentecost’s message is “be open to change or you will decay”. This message can be applied to our spiritual and material lives. If you do not change you will decay.

Many of us are dead spiritually and bad Christians because we habitually continue to live lives that are contrary to the will of God the Holy Spirit reject the call of the God the Holy Spirit to change our way of living. Why do we reject God’s call to change our lives? In many instances we lack the courage to change. We know there is a need for change but we seem not to have the courage to make the change. We recognise the need for change but we choose not to change because we enjoy what we are doing.  We want to share the life of God but we are not prepared to make a break with sinful living. We want to eat our cake and have it.  Change requires repentance; repentance brings us into a new relationship with Christ and allows us to share in the life of God. Paul says that if anyone is in Christ he /she becomes a new creation.

No individual, organisation, church, nation or society can experience a new lease of life if it refuses to make changes from time to time. It is necessary that we make changes at times to make life a more meaningful, productive and lively experience. Change is necessary if individuals and groups are to experience new life. If we do not change it is possible that we can become fossils of the past- outdated and useless. Change or you will decay.

If we believe that God is a God of new life which comes with change, why do we resist change? We are afraid of change because it challenges us to do things differently. Whenever we are required to make changes it asks us to reorder our lives, to make adjustments, to think out of the box and to be open to new ideas. We are comfortable with life as it is and we see change as interference. For many people the idea of change is revolting because it takes us out of our comfort zones and at times it makes us insecure. Some of us detest change because we are used to a certain way of life. And we see it as a disruption. Many of us oppose change because of its potential to expose our weaknesses, shortcomings and inabilities. Change or you will decay.

The God of Pentecost is a God of change who is always calling us to new experiences. He calls us to new adventures. Our God invites us to be relevant in the times in which we live and this can only be done as we respond in a meaningful way to present reality. To make this response change is always necessary. Change or you will decay.
As Christians who believe that the Holy Spirit inspires and leads us we must not be afraid to accept the changes that will come. We must accept the changes that come with life as we advance in age. We must not be fearful of the new changes that will come in our general lives, our forms of church worship and all that go with parish life. In our Christian living and parish life we must be open to change, new ideas and thinking, new forms of ministry; we cannot have a closed mind and resist change just for the sake of resistance. As a parish we have to be willing to accept the changes that must come as we try new ministries, endeavour to make our Sunday worship more meaningful and appealing, as we embark on creating a worshipping environment that is warm and inviting. Without change there will be no new life in our parish. Change or we will decay.

Some people oppose change just for the sake of opposing. In some instances we fight against change from purely personal reasons and in some instances it borders on selfishness. But we must always try to see the bigger picture and the benefits that can accrue from meaningful change. Life is not static, life is dynamic, life evolves and we must be prepared to make the necessary changes in our lives that the present requires. Change or you will decay.
Some may ask ‘how will you know that a change is for the better and not for worse ’? The answer is simple: we walk by faith and not by sight. We do not know if changes will be for good or evil, better or worse, positive or negative, unless we try them and give them time to work. After a period of time we will be able to make an informed judgement and assess the situation.

A former dean of Yale Divinity School makes the point that institutions only remain the same by constantly going through a process of change.

Change or dacay.

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