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  • Writer's pictureAlex Huzzey

Times of refreshing

Acts 3:17-20

“And now, brothers and sisters, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you.

During the last two years, those of us who are involved in speaking in church have found ourselves having to preach a lot of stoical sermons.

It's felt like every time we've had to engage with a passage from scripture which talks about hope or joy, we've had to think very carefully and pray very hard about how to talk about the good news of the gospel in a way which didn't appear to make light of the really difficult stuff which was going on around us, not least in recent weeks the reality of war, violence and inhumanity erupting once more on our continent.

We've all had to pray and reflect on the way which the Christian faith speaks profoundly and deeply into the reality of human suffering. And fortunately, it does, and maybe we've discovered afresh the depths of a faith which has a crucified God at its heart.

However, these verses from Acts remind us that faith is not just something to hold onto through the dark times, but that we worship a God who longs also to bless us with times of refreshment and restoration too.

Maybe right now we feel a bit like those early followers of Jesus in that upper room in Jerusalem, knowing the resurrection had happened and holding onto its promise of hope and new life, without feeling much like we're living it out.

In our worship together, as we pray, as we look for God in the Bible, as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, lets look for, expect and welcome those times of refreshing which come from the presence of God, our loving and living God who longs to bless us and renew us once more.

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