This is my puppet Samantha. She’s quite a hit when we go out together, although she is very shy and doesn’t say that much – she tends to whisper in my ear!
Samantha is very special to me and I use her sometimes in assemblies and in church, for she gets across the message of God’s guiding love better than I can tell it without her, and the children and some adults infinitely prefer her preaching to mine!
So I take Samantha with me and introduce her to the group. They love her, she’s funny and engaging, and she has a bag of her treasures, the things that are most important to her: her teddy bear, a picture of me, her collection of seashells, her favourite reading book, and her Bible. And I ask the group, what is the one thing that Samantha has at that moment that she cannot exist without? And we talk about the importance of precious objects and family, and because I am from the Church, the children usually decide that the Bible is the most important!
So I put Samantha down whilst I pick up the Bible to talk about it, but when I talk to Samantha she is totally unresponsive, until I pick her up again and use her as a puppet, whereupon she informs them that the most important thing for her is my hand, or actually anyone’s hand, for without it she is just an inanimate doll.
This weekend we are celebrating Pentecost, when the Spirit of God filled the disciples with such confidence and power in the risen Christ that they became like new people, filled with energy and life and wanting to go out and tell people what was important to them. And what was important? They wanted to tell people about Jesus. And the same Spirit that filled them is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, and the same Spirit that is given to you and me. It is the touch of God in and on our lives, guiding us and loving us. And we need to ask for God’s Spirit to guide us, so that we can be caring, loving, and helping people, working with God and willing to let God use us to care for his world.
The gift God has given to us is that we are living, breathing human beings and not puppets, but unless we have the power of God’s love and his Spirit within us guiding, leading, moulding and sending, then we are about as much use as a puppet without a hand!
breathe new life into us
that we might truly reflect your light and love in the world
so that by our words, deeds and attitudes
we give you all the glory and honour.
Forgive us when we are limp and lifeless,
denying the power of your love in our lives;
fill us afresh this Pentecost
that we may be power-filled witnesses for you
in all we do and say.
You can download this Prayer for the Week here.
Prayers for May written by Denise Creed
Picture: Denise Creed