The Archdeacon of York, Sam Rushton, writes:

But it's comin' by dawn,
We can feel it come,
You can feel it in your heart,
You can see it in the ground
You can see it in the trees,
You can smell it in the breeze
Look around! Look around!
Look around!...

Oscar Hammerstein’s words evoke the pent up excitement, the expectation as we wait for June to ‘bust out all over.’

With Pentecost this year right at the end of May, perhaps this is a good moment to pause and reflect on what we are expecting God to be doing afresh in this season. Did we approach Pentecost with that same level of building anticipation – something’s coming, something amazing, something which will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle, something which will turn the world on its head, refreshing, renewing and revitalising our churches.

I recently heard one of our Multiply ministers, Oli, preaching on the Wild Goose as an image of the Holy Spirit, a symbol much beloved by the Iona Community. Doves, he said, are calm and peaceful but the wild goose symbolises the adventure and disruptive energy of the Holy Spirit in a way which is perhaps more in keeping with the wild landscape of northern Britain.

Perhaps we might want to see a few more wild geese let loose in our churches to disrupt and challenge us with the radical energy of the Gospel of Christ.

We are, as a Church, coming to understand that we can’t keep doing what we have done before and expect something different to happen with regard to growth. Something has to change. But the mistake we might make is in thinking that the change is all down to us when the Bible is quite clear that the agent of change is the Holy Spirit at work in us and in the world. But that doesn’t mean we should be entirely passive - we can join in with God’s radical change agenda by flinging open the doors of our churches and welcoming in the wild goose. It won’t be comfortable or controllable but there is no doubt it will be an adventure.

And maybe then it won’t just be June bustin’ out all over – maybe it will be revival. Come Holy Spirit, we pray.

Sam Rushton