Pastoral Letter for Wed. 3rd June:

My Dear Friends,
Jesus once said to his followers that, when he went away to leave them, God would send them the gift of his Spirit – His Presence – to be with them in a powerful, invisible way. Jesus refers to this Spirit as a Comforter, a Helper, an Advocate, an Encourager. The Greek word he uses is “Paracletos”. A Paraclete was someone who is called in to stand by you. Someone who is on your side. A Paraclete was someone who puts courage into you and makes you strong and brave. A Paraclete was someone who gives us the strength and power to cope with the demands and challenges of life.

It is this strong Presence of the Risen Christ – living and active and real – who guides and helps and encourages us – who stands alongside us as our Helper and Friend. At this Season of Pentecost we rejoice in the confident assurance that His Spirit is most assuredly with us.

There is an old Greek legend about one of their gods – the Paraclete. The Paraclete had a magical cloak which made him invisible; and special boots which made him a fast runner. The story is told of a wee boy who was lame and yet who desperately wanted to join in the sports and games and races. Everyone mocked and jeered: “How can you run – you can’t even walk!” The wee lad, however, had courage and determination.

When the race began, the Paraclete put on his cloak and boots and soared up behind this little boy – picked him up – and, to everyone’s amazement, carried him over the winning line!

The Greeks, you see, believed that, if you had faith, courage, and determination, the gods would help you to overcome your difficulties. My Friends, we can rely on the help of God to pick us up and carry us through!

Liz joins me in sending our love to you all.
Alex.