In-Filling and Out-Pouring of the Holy Spirit

Click here to listen to this 17-minute sermon.

Today is Pentecost, the last day of the Easter season, on which we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit among the new Christian Church in Acts 2. It is one of the high days in the Christian calendar. In today’s sermon, I draw on key themes that emerge from Jesus’ teaching on the Holy Spirit in John 16, the Pentecost narrative in Acts 2 and the vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. Based on these passages, I suggest that the Spirit has two main ways of working: he in-fills us in quiet and individualised ways to develop faith, life and truth, and he out-pours in dramatic and public ways to demonstrate the love and power of God and to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

My thanks to Fiona Langham for sharing her Spirit Tapestry that was part of a Pentecost Art Festival I organised back in 2008. You can see more of our works at

5 thoughts on “In-Filling and Out-Pouring of the Holy Spirit

  1. Fiona Langham says:

    Lovely Adrian. Thank you so much! Makes me so happy!!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Caroline says:

    Adrian, I like the way you contrast the indivual and public working of the Spirit, but for me your the use of ‘he’ for the Spirit alienated me and I struggled to hear what you were saying.


    • Dear Cally, thank you for your comment. I am sorry that my use of language alienated you. Holy Spirit is, in my understanding, profoundly personal and so we have to use personal pronouns when we talk about Spirit – not ‘which’, ‘it’, etc. We are constrained in English by the availability only of gendered pronouns (he/she, him/her). (Why don’t we have gender inclusive or gender neutral pronouns? Why can’t we create some, given the many other words society is constantly creating?) In my private devotions, Holy Spirit is ‘she’. But in a public sermon, I would alienate large numbers if I used ‘she’. And the swopping of ‘he’ for ‘she’ is not without its problems, because I don’t think Spirit is female or feminine any more than male or masculine. So, it is quite a challenge in preaching! But that all said, I am truly sorry that you felt alienated from the message. Love and peace, Adrian


  3. Cookie Kershaw says:

    What pronoun to use for the Holy Spirit is a problem. It was also discussed yesterday at the Hermanus Catholic Church. No easy answer! The Priest also used the old folk song “How to catch the wind” as an analogy for the Holy Spirit. He said that both the Holy Spirit and love can’t be caught and that we should “simply” let both come to us and we should be open to both.
    Adrian, would it be possible for me to download your sermon so that I can print and read it or are you planning to publish it later?
    Best wishes to you and all at St Martin’s
    Cookie Kershaw


  4. Cathy Nicholson says:

    Thank you so much for you brilliant Pentecost podcast… You are such an inspiration 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s