Welcome to St John the Baptist Church in Smalley, Derbyshire.

“What is a normal goal to a young person becomes a neurotic hindrance in old age” Carl Jung

During Lent 2018, I used the book, “Falling Upward” by Richard Rohr, a monk and teacher of Christian contemplation, and as I approach my 66th birthday this month, and frequently contemplate my future, this has helped me explore what to do with the rest of my life. Not always a comfortable journey!

Rohr quotes a Native American Aphorism ‘No person ever wanted to be younger’, and I just wondered if you agree? On a slightly more surreal level, the Canadian
comedian Katherine Ryan (aged early 30s) recently said that she is looking forward to being 63 and 83 – why? ‘Because what else is there to do? Die?’

There are times in everyone’s life when we feel insecure, without answers, in need of help or simply incapable of acting independently – and yet we try to cope, using past experiences or in-built instincts. But maybe we need more ‘planning’, to use a contemporary buzzword, but do we ever sit down to seek a partner in planning how we live the rest of lives?

I am eternally grateful for my marriage partner of 46 years, Ann, but we agree that we have both had a third person in our marriage (controversial?) – in our case it is The Holy Spirit.

In the Church calendar this year, Sunday, 20th May is when we celebrate PENTECOST and the coming of God’s Holy Spirit – 90 days after Ash Wednesday, 50 after Easter.

We receive the breath of new life, and with it God’s power, so, if you believe that, as Ann and I do, then it is not just to be received so we can simply lie down and die.

The disciples were invigorated by having the Holy Spirit breathed into them, and as St Peter preached in Jerusalem that day, thousands of others were also invigorated, a wonderful word meaning energised or rejuvenated.

We have been given the Holy Spirit for the purpose of guiding the rest of our lives, and to be aware that you are not alone, because the Holy Spirit will be alongside (para-clete) henceforth, or until the Lord returns (paroussia) whichever is soonest.

Who knows when? Not me, not you, so live the rest of your life and be glad.

As ever, The Rev’d Peter Swales