I am going to pour fresh water over you and wash you clean from all that defiles you and cleanse you from the false gods you have followed.
I am going to give you a new heart, and a new Spirit: a sensitive heart to replace your frozen one, and my own Spirit to guide you in my ways.
Then you will truly be my people, and I will be your God.
(Ezekiel 36: 25 – 28)
“It has long been my conviction that God is not hugely concerned as to whether we are religious or not. What matters supremely, is whether we are alive or not.
If your religion brings you more fully to life, God will be in it; but if your religion inhibits your capacity for life or makes you run away from it, you may be sure God is against it, just as Jesus was.
...the essential gift of the new truth is aliveness - coming alive towards other people, coming alive to the glory and tragedy of this world, coming alive towards the reality of ourselves, coming alive to our responsibility in society, local and worldwide; above all coming alive towards the scriptures and the life of prayer, alive to the presence of Jesus Christ and the vast, embracing joy of God.
It is the gift of the Holy Spirit… We cannot switch it on, this new aliveness, just because we feel ready for it. The Spirit is as free and unpredictable as the wind which blows where it wills. You simply ask for it; ask and wait trustfully; and let yourself come alive. Have the courage to lower the barriers, and welcome life. ‘Ye that seek after God, let your heart live’ (Ps 63:32). "
(John V. Taylor)
Loving God, open our hearts, so that we may feel the breath and play of your Spirit.
Unclench our hands so that we may reach out to one another, and touch and be healed.
Open our lips that we may drink in the delight and wonder of life.
Unclog our ears to hear your agony in our inhumanity.
Open our eyes so that we may see Christ in friend and stranger.
Breathe your Spirit into us and touch our lives with the life of Christ.