The theme for the Diocesan Synod at the end of April was ‘A different spirit’. It reflected the story in Numbers 13 and 14 where 10 of those who had gone to explore the promised land reported not only on the good things that the land contained, but also said it was not possible to go into the land because of the size of the obstacles that lay ahead.
However, two others, Caleb and Joshua, were of a different mind, advising that the people should not be afraid, “because the Lord is with us”. They had a different spirit and followed the Lord wholeheartedly. But because the people as whole listened to the negative report of the 10, Caleb and Joshua had to wait another 40 years before they could follow their own advice – by which time Joshua was the new leader of the people.
It is easy for us, both as individuals and as a church to see only problems around us – problems which often seem very large, even insurmountable. But, if what we are doing is the Lord’s will, then we need not be afraid, for the Lord is with us. We need a different spirit which will enable us to look beyond what is immediately in front of us, to catch a glimpse of what God sees.
The season of Easter culminates with Pentecost (this year 4th June), when we celebrate with all God’s people, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of power and love and wisdom.
We need not fear. For the Lord is with us.