All Saints' Parish Church                         
Eglantine Road, Lisburn.       


Sunday 20th May is the feast of Pentecost which is sometimes called the birthday of the Christian Church. On Pentecost Sunday we remember the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. Those first frightened followers of Christ were transformed into people who were compelled by the Spirit to go out into the streets of Jerusalem and bear witness to the risen Christ. They were so overwhelmed with conviction and joy, they wanted to share the Good News - that Jesus had opened the way to God for all people. Following the Ascension of Jesus, the disciples must have felt bereft, but they may have also remembered what Jesus had told them: ‘I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever’ (John 14:16). In some translations of the Bible, the word Advocate -meaning the Holy Spirit - is translated as Councillor and in the King James Bible it is translated as Comforter. The word comfort can mean several things, soft and soothing, warm and helpful, guiding and strengthening. Most important for us is strengthening, or help. The word comfort includes the Latin word ‘fortis’, meaning strong. Out of our weakness the Holy Spirit makes us strong. The Holy Spirit brings power, the divine grace, and the living strength of God; in other words, the life of Christ. At the end of the Eucharist on Pentecost Sunday, the Easter Candle (Paschal Candle), will be removed from the front of the church and placed by the font. It has been at the front since Easter, to be the symbol of the light of the risen Christ in our world; a world which has more than its fair share of darkness. Removing the candle is also symbolic. The Easter Candle is no longer needed, Pentecost has come and we, the people of God, are to be the lights of Christ in our community. The Church has been born and each baptised Christian is a part of the body of Christ in our world. It is through us, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, that the light of Christ will touch those around us.

Rev Jason