Thursday, June 30, 2011


I was one of those fortunate women who have very easy labours. Perhaps this is why I never stopped hankering after "just one more baby" - or perhaps that was simply because I didn't really want to grow up. Who knows? However, I could guarantee that even in the shortest and most straightforward of labours (my longest lasted a cool 4 hours) there would be one stage in which I would become thoroughly miserable and unreasonable, ask if I could call the whole thing off and generally rue the day that I ever contemplated motherhood.
This stage will be familiar to parents as transition........and since then I've realised that I don't much enjoy other transitions either.
I don't think many people do.

Currently, I've several friends and family members who are in that threshold space. My beloved daughter Hattie Gandhi returns here this evening, leaving the city that she has loved since her arrival as a 1st year undergraduate. With 2 degrees to her name, she has certainly made the most of her time there in every possible way - and I know it's hard for her to head back to the vicarage, which has never been home for her, with no idea of what comes next.

Meanwhile, a dear friend is waiting to begin a new ministry in a new place and going through all the uncomfortable adjustments that this entails - coupled with the awful bereavement that seems to be part of leaving any parish, at least until the next chapter really begins...and others are on their ordination retreats, contemplating stepping through the door into a completely different world.
Another has just announced that she will be leaving this country and heading across the Pond...And I spent yesterday morning at the Cathedral with the year 6 from valley church school, as they attended the diocesan Leavers' service.
And so it goes on.
Transitions wherever I turn.

So - for all of these dear dear people, specially those who are struggling with what comes next, a prayer by beloved John O'Donahue, from "Benedictus"

For the interim time

When near the end of day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while, it will be night, but nothing
Here seems to believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow your confusion to squander
This call which is loosening 
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you had outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind
And it is difficult and slow to become new,
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

PS. Oh - and for the record - after transition came the hardest work of labour - and then three joyful deliveries. Well worth enduring for!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Homily for 8.00 Trinity Sunday Yr A

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Before I've even written a word, that opening prayer puts us straight into the heart of God.......and straight into the heart of today's feast.
Trinity Sunday – the day when limited human minds, and limited human language attempt to explore the nature of the God who is beyond all our greatest imaginings, our finest words.
There's a tradition in theology called the apophatic tradition, which can be summed up in the words of Wittgenstein
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”
In other words – if words fail, then don't use words.
But actually, the doctrine of the Trinity is all about lived experience...a doctrine formulated to make sense of God as encountered by humanity in só many ways from the very beginning.

Só, this morning, we might focus on the Creation story from Genesis – and encounter all the imaginative excitement of God at work, his Word (THE Word) bringing forth light and life........while the Spirit, God's breath, moves over the face of the waters....
Or we might instead find ourselves standing with the disciples, who have spent 3 years realising that their beloved Rabbi is só God filled that he must BE God – (I and the Father are one) just in time for his risen body to leave them once again – with a Trinitarian commission to obey
Or we might submit ourselves to the embrace that we só often share with one another, those familiar words of mutual blessing that are part of our Epistle today
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore”

You see, the essence of the Trinity is love, though it is too simple to present it as Love, Lover and Beloved....for what is true of one is true of all.....
John Wesley said
“Tell me how it is that in this room there are three candles and but one light, and I will explain to you the mode of the divine existence”

Because however much we may try to find clever ways to illustrate the truth that God is three and God is one, what we need to grasp most fully is that God in Trinity is God in relationship – a relationship of endless mutual love, into which we are invited.
The point of Christianity has never been to figure God out by reading and learning, but to experience God. The pertinent question is the same question it always was: how do we find God?
How do we experience God's love?

There's a story about a training incumbent who promised his curate a substantial sum if he could manage his first sermon on Trinity Sunday without using the word “mystery”......
He did só, knowing his money was almost 100% safe........but the problem is that we too often treat the Trinity as the sort of mystery that needs to solved – like a detective story – rather than the sort we submit to, like falling in love.

But actually, falling in love is the central concern.
For ours is a God who knows what it is like to give of self completely for the other and who can do that because the other is totally invested in giving its self for the the first.
Here there is no hierarchy, no anxiety over precedence.
Instead the love that defines and informs the one reaches out and spills over into the other
Look, says the Father.......look at the Son........
Look, says the Son...........look at the Spirit
They gaze at one another in mutual love and delight – and invite us to do the same – to participate in their loving relationship and to draw others to do so as well.

In a few moments, we'll enter into that Communion as we come to receive God in the sacrament....Here we find all the love and all the sustenance we will ever need....Here, touched by love, we are made lovely too

só let's pray, using some words of Catherine of Siena

Eternal Trinity, you are a deep sea, into which the more we enter the more we find, and the more we find the more we seek. The soul ever hungers in your abyss, longing to see you with the light of your light and, as the deer yearns for the springs of water, so our souls yearn to see you in truth. Amen

Uncharted territory

June 17th 1978....a Saturday, just 2 days before my 1st A level (Music Aural, as it happens)
The independent school I was attending had Saturday morning lessons, but these were suspended for the Upper 6th so that we could concentrate on revision. 
I think I was working on history when my housemaster came into the library, tapped me on the shoulder and took me away from my books and, I guess, away from my childhood too.
That morning, while I was worrying about the causes of the English Civil War, my father had quietly moved on from the pain of the last weeks of cancer, the sadness of saying farewell, and had gone safely home to the God whom he'd served with quiet devotion all his 67 years.
The next days, weeks, months were unlike anything I had ever experienced.
From being younger than my years, focussed solely on exam work and music I found myself abruptly transformed into the adult as my mother struggled with a loss so devastating that it took with it her will to live, her reason to engage with the world.
When she died herself, 6 months later, it was almost a relief. They needed to be together - and, surely, had done all they could to prepare me for the world.

And, you know, I think they pretty much had.
They had taught me that there is always enough Love to go round, and had given me a language to recognise this.
They had taught me that it's ALWAYS worth going the extra mile for your friends (and had given me friends who demonstrated that in so many many ways)
They had shown me how books and music can transform pretty much any situation and left me with a lifelong passion for both
And they had shown me how to give, and why it matters to make a difference.

Sometimes, though, I wonder what else I might have learned - particularly now, as I explore what it means to be the parent of adult to provide enough support to be helpful without either swamping or disabling (the familiar, but still challenging lesson here) to both embrace and let go.
They never had to do that...I hope that, one day, my children will look back on my parenting with the same gratitude with which I remember - not just on anniversaries, but whenever I think of them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Naming the challenge

On Sunday, the feast of Pentecost, we celebrated in both hill and vale with the full seasonal provision that "Times and Seasons" allows. Inevitably, this had a quite different "feel" in each church - probably at least in part because I presided in the valley, which gives you a particular set of priorities during worship. 
There, I stood at the head of the nave and looked down at the congregation, lit on a particularly damp and dark June morning by the light we had shared from the Paschal flame - and was struck above all by the courage of that group of people, none of whom have the easiest of lives...
The commissioning rite that Common Worship includes as a concrete reminder of what "being the Church" actually means, minces no words at all....


As part of God’s Church here in N, I call upon you to live out what you proclaim.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, will you dare to walk into God’s future,
trusting him to be your guide?
By the Spirit’s power, we will.
Will you dare to embrace each other and grow together in love?
We will.
Will you dare to share your riches in common and minister to each other in need?
We will.
Will you dare to pray for each other until your hearts beat with the longings of God?
We will.
Will you dare to carry the light of Christ into the world’s dark places?
We will.

Those are big words, aren't they....a huge weight of commitment.
It was one thing to ask a congregation if they would live out what they proclaimed. That felt splendid - an affirmation of our common purpose, to be celebrated triumphantly.
Being asked to voice those same proclamations myself not once but twice -both up the hill and in a packed Cathedral, full to welcome our new Dean - was quite quite different.
There, perhaps, we were all carried along by the occasion, by being part of a huge congregation bouyed up by splendid music (Locus Iste, Howells Gloucester Mag. AND If ye love me, all in one service is pretty celestial in my book), and all the high liturgical drama of the day. 
But up the hill, as part of a congregation 2 dozen strong, I felt the weight of every word and all but stumbled.
It was OK to be asked the huge, broad-spectrum questions about walking with God, growing in love, sharing the Christ-light in dark places...While I know that I fail in these every day, I know too that they are intrinsic to the faith that I profess, and actually I do try - and I know that God knows this.
But these are also pledges with soft edges, addressing areas where "success" and "failure" are hard to define.
But what about sharing my riches in common with those in need?
Was I, or anyone else in either congregation, actually up for that?
My voice faltered. 
Giving? - yes - but always with the rider in my head "When I can..." and with the right reserved to determine just what those words mean...
Sharing in common....ummmm.....
I looked around me - at comfortable people in their Sunday best - people like me...
None of their faces registered any disquiet and I wasn't conscious of any sudden diminuendo in the responses.
Were they all crossing their fingers? 
Or was I about to witness an amazing scene in which we poured out of the building to pool our material resources with the rough sleepers of Gloucester, or swept down the hill to solve the financial worries of the valley estates by taking them upon ourselves?
Or was there a shared assumption that we could make huge commitments "by the Spirit's power"
and then blame God for our failure to follow through?
Or worse still, did we not actually mean a word we were saying?
And if not in this context, then where else in our worship might this be so?

I loved the liturgy on Sunday, - but I'm distinctly uneasy when I remember what we promised. Perhaps that unease is the gift of the Spirit....I wish I'd asked to speak Polish* instead.

*Not an entirely random choice - we do have some Polish families at both my valley schools.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yr A Pentecost Sermon for St M's & All Saints: Acts 2, John 14

When the day of Pentecost had come the people of St Matthew's/All Saints were all gathered together in one place and suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire church where they were gathered and……
How did you feel as you heard those words?
What would that sort of dramatic outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit actually mean for us here?
Do you honestly believe it could happen?
Every year as we approach Pentecost, I’m conscious that I’m being pulled in two directions.
On the one hand, I feel safe within the familiarity of Anglican liturgy here. I come expecting to find God (in this community) amid the blend of Word and Sacrament, and I am seldom disappointed. I’m Anglican by choice as well as by chance, and I do value worship which is conducted “decently and in order”…so imagining the sort of radical transformation that the Holy Spirit might bring to us is, on one level, more than a little alarming.
But on the other hand what Christian, confronted with the diverse challenges that face both church and world today could fail to pray for the transforming power that enabled a group of fearful uneducated men to take on the world for Christ?
I value what we have, but I know that we so often settle for less than our primary calling – to BE the church – a sign of God's kingdom, a powerful agent of transformation in a broken world...And I know that we will continue to fail, without a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit – in these communities, at this time.
I guess the struggle that I experience is simply par for the course. We all know that encounters with God are unlikely to leave us untouched – and sometimes the changes and challenges ahead seem too huge to contemplate.
The good news is - I rather suspect the disciples felt the same. When the Acts reading begins, they are gathered together, waiting. Though Luke doesn’t say so, it’s quite possible that they are actually gathered together in the upper room, their unofficial Jerusalem HQ. This is holy ground for them, the place where they’d celebrated the Passover with Jesus, and hidden in fear when the Lord was arrested and crucified. It was the place where they had huddled together in the fear and grief of Holy Saturday and the place where they heard the first rumours of resurrection. There they had encountered the risen one who came among them despite barred doors, there they had regrouped when he went from them, there they had watched and prayed for his promise to be fulfilled. Holy ground indeed,the place where they felt themselves to be a community, still united despite the departure of their Lord.
Yes, they were a community in waiting, uncertain about their next step, but a community gathered in faith and hope nonetheless.
Does that sound at all familiar? I do hope that it does
Of course, they were also a community under threat.
Outside the house, the streets were thronged with people once again – just as they had been at Passover…Perhaps the disciples defined themselves as if set against the crowd outside. They were the ones with the special knowledge and experience of God, though the crowds were the ones with the courage and freedom to move about the city.
We don't really know, but we DO know that with the coming of the Spirit, everything changed.
Hiding no longer, they went gladly out from their place of safety, out to speak to the crowds, overwhelmed with enthusiasm for a message that just had to be delivered. They were caught up in the excited turmoil, which was so pervasive that it seemed to onlookers that this was a scene of drunken revelry.
Rather alarming, I think?
But alarming or not, it worked. This wasn’t simply a particularly raucous worship service from which everyone went home scratching their heads, thankful to get back to normal.
Lives were changed.
People heard the Gospel and responded to it. They were baptized and “devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers"
Happy Birthday, Church!
For the disciples, the coming of the Spirit meant that they had to let go of the securities of their holy place and go out into the streets, among the crowds that could so easily turn nasty.
The Spirit made that venture possible…and in doing so, opened up Salvation to the whole world.
Wonderful, inspirational....but perhaps a bit too far away from our expectations here this morning.
But, you know, Pentecost was not a once only event...The Spirit has been active throughout history, moving over the face of the waters at creation, transforming Ezekiel's dry bones, descending like a dove upon Jesus at his baptism.
And the Holy Spirit has not vanished from the world, not even from the Church!
At that first Pentecost, God reached out to communicate directly with everyone.
And God still does.
But not always, of course, in the mighty rushing wind, the multilingual gifts and high excitement of the day of Pentecost.
While Luke presents the coming of the Spirit with fanfares and celebrations, John offers us only a gentle whisper, so quiet that we might even miss it.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
Jesus looks at his exhausted, disappointed disciples, wrung out by all the dramas of holy week, of death and resurrection – and offers them nothing less than artificial respiration.He breathes HIS life into them...literally INSPIRES them....That weary, fearful group is given the very life of God, and a new calling, to reconcile and bless If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
We have to do the same.
Filled with God's life-breath, Inspired as God's church, this is our calling.
Knowing that God so loved not church alone but the whole world, we are to reach out to her in all her pain and brokenness and speak God's words of healing and forgiveness.
Knowing that our language may not be adequate, we are to listen to God and allow the Holy Spirit to translate so that we may more fully communicate God's love.
We speak so many different languages – of mind and heart and spirit – culture and community – yet all must hear the Gospel.
There is no official language for God rather God comes down and speaks our language, whatever it may be.
God's one supreme message of love is translated so that nobody can fail to understand.
Today, the Church's birthday, we should not celebrate a monochrome church, full of people who see the world exactly as we do.
Rather, let us rejoice in the diversity of God’s people, within and beyond our churches, and reach out to share good news with them.
If we will only let him, God can speak through us to all in their own tongue, and God can and will reconcile them all.
We may not experience the drama of that first Pentecost, -but we can and must pray to be open to the Holy Spirit, as strong as the wind, gentle as is the dove.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created, And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Spiritual discipline?

Next to valley church stands the old old vicarage - a huge and impressive building which must always, surely, have been too much for the clergy family to manage. It hasn't been church property for decades. The house that is now home for me was built on the site of a more recent old vicarage, a 1920s building that was much loved by the local community but less popular with those who lived there, and had to deal with the astronomical heating costs - and maintain the huge garden. That house was demolished in the vacancy before my appointment here - and I thank both God and the diocese that someone with my domestic and horticultural limitations does not have to live in it.
Meanwhile, the original vicarage still stands, a testimony to the days when the vicar really was Somebody - and, (cynics might say) its fortunes perhaps reflecting those of the church, the building is now a care cum nursing home for the elderly.

I've been a regular visitor there for some time, since a new regime decreed that the local vicar was not, after all, persona non grata, and among the residents who most welcomes Communion there is, amazingly, the daughter of the last vicar to actually LIVE in the old old vicarage. She moved away from the area sometime in the 1930s, married, but had no children, and now in her 90s, struggles with short-term memory loss, though she always knows who I am and why I am there. She lights up as she talks about the many parish children who knew her as Auntie H...and shows a childlike delight in the trinity of teddy bears that are her close companions.
Always, even on her bad days, she recognises and responds to the Sacrament - but yesterday she brought me close to tears.
You see, H is almost crippled by arthritis. Hands that once worked hard knitting and sewing for the struggling families of her father's parishes can now barely manipulate the mechanical grabber that made life manageable from her chair for some time.
She also has a tremor, which was particularly bad yesterday - but she has a will of iron.
She was not going to let anyone, but anyone, prevent her from receiving both the sacred elements herself, in her own hands even though the journey from hand to mouth involved copious false starts and took, to an observer, almost a lifetime..
I hovered, desperate to help but desperate too, not to intrude on this personal battle - wishing that I habitually brought intincted wafers, so that she might be spared going through the whole ordeal twice.
But, I suspect, H would have felt cheated if things had been any easier.
When the host had been consumed, it was time for the chalice.
No compromises allowed...
Could she close those pain-wracked fingers around the cup?
If she could, would she be able to tilt it to allow herself to sip?
She brought her head as low as she could, and laboriously brought the chalice to her lips.
Swallowing, too, cost her so much effort - but it was clear, even while I wept inside, that every second of this painful journey (which must have lasted a couple of minutes) was precious to her, somehow a spiritual discipline in itself.
I could bring the sacrament to her,(even this an unwelcome surrender as she always laments that she is not strong enough to be brought to church) but yesterday I began to understand how hugely important it is for H that she takes an active part in receiving, expressing by her efforts her longing for the One who, when we were still far off, met us in His Son...

One day soon, I think, she will have to receive under one kind...and that tiny spoon that nestles in my Home Communion set will finally get an outline. That, I think, will hurt...and we may have to do some revision of theology. For now, though,  H. will continue to "Take, eat"- and it is not for me, or anyone else, to attempt to make things easier.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Out of darkness...

I hope that I'm always conscious of the privileges of ministry, - the way people suddenly open their hearts and tell their stories, hoping and expecting that I may be able to point out where God is amid the joy, pain or confusion.

Apart from saying Mass, it is simply the most amazing gift, to be allowed to spend time listening to people and helping them notice God at work...but sometimes it is more evident than others.

For me, one Baptism in this weekend of many positively shone with evidence of God's presence.
It started in a rather unpromising way. An infant baptism arranged, at least in part, to placate an anxious great-grandma.
Nothing unusual about that, nor in the discovery that not all those invited to be godparents were themselves baptised.
At this point, I give the parents a copy of the service to share with the would-be godparents, explain that there is nothing to stop them from being wonderful, supportive role models for the infant even without baptism - but that they cannot make promises on his account that they would not make for themselves, and send them off to discuss it.
Often, that is the end of the matter.
Sometimes, I meet up with a possible godparent and we discuss whether or not they might ever have considered baptism were it not for the current possibility...usually, they have the grace to admit that they would only be going through with it to support their friends, and we go our separate ways with our respective integrities intact.
Occasionally, they seem prepared to jump through hoops, and I find myself, bizarrely, trying to talk them out of making promises they really don't plan to keep.
Just sometimes, - there's another agenda running.

So it was when I met with one potential godfather a couple of weeks ago.
Accompanied by the baby's mum, he sat uncomfortably on the vicarage sofa, very young, very male, and very ill at ease.
My heart sank.
I was certain this was going to be one of those conversations that led nowhere - but I could not have been more wrong.
While far from chatty, he was very willing to tell me that he had made some bad choices, wanted to draw a line under those and make a new start, and hoped he would be able to show his godson that there were different possibilities.
How could I do anything but rejoice, and book a date for the baptism.

It happened last weekend.
He came along to church, with only his mum for support...I'm not sure if the alochol fumes that came too were a memory of Saturday night, or Dutch courage to spur him on his way - but he made his promises with clarity and, I believe, conviction.
At the end of the service, I sent him on the journey from the font to the Paschal candle, which still stands in its Eastertide position at the head of the nave....Not a long way, really, but one that seemed freighted with extra signficance as we watched him go. 
7 weeks ago that Paschal candle was carried up the aisle and the darkness of Holy Saturday receded with every pace.
As the young man walked back to us, carrying his baptismal candle with huge care, there were no words necessary.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

In the meantime...a homily for Easter 7 A

I sometimes wonder what would happen if some gloriously off-beat, definitely deluded writer attempted a pantomime script based on the Bible.
There would, I'm sure, be ample opportunity for cries of “Oh no he didn't! Oh yes he did” (what about John 3:16, for starters) – and of course, there are any number of truly amazing transformation scenes – as lepers are cleansed, the dead raised, the way of the cross becomes the way of life and peace – all culminating in the new heaven and new earth that we are promised when God's kingdom comes.

But it's the way that pantomime characters so often spend their time looking in completely the wrong direction that came to my mind as I thought about Ascension.
It's not the only time, of course, when God takes us by surprise...indeed, in the post Easter narratives it happens repeatedly.
And today here we are again
The disciples are craning their necks, trying to catch a final glimpse of Jesus (have you seen that wonderful window at Fairford, which depicts his toes vanishing into the clouds?) - only to be challenged by the angels – not quite “Look behind you” but rather......
Look ahead”
Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

In other words – this is not “Good bye” but most certainly “Au revoir”.
They will see Jesus again.....just not yet.

Of course it is hard for them to let him go...after all, it was just 40 days since he had been restored to them, against all hope, against all reason, as he appeared in the upper room in his resurrection body.
Of course, they are inclined to stay seek security in the place where they have last encountered Jesus – and I don't think that's such a foreign idea to most of us.
But the angels make it clear that God has another agenda.
Indeed, he has had another agenda all along.
Lord,’ they ask, ‘is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’
While they were waiting for dramatic action, an unmistakeable declaration that God IS God, that the ancient prophecies will be fulfilled and all made well
God sneaked off in another direction entirely, leaving them to hurry up and wait.
To wait to “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon them”
To wait before they can set out as witnesses , to tell the great story in which they have been swept up, against all their expectations.
And in the meantime, while they wait........they pray.

Two millennia later, we wait as well.
We wait for that final fulfillment of the kingdom and, on a smaller scale, in the church's year, we wait to celebrate the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost.

We wait to discover our own part in telling that great story....for this is our story too.

And as we wait – I hope we pray. For how else will we learn how best to join in with God's agenda

To return to our pantomime theme – some tell this story as a joke – but I'm more inclined to take it seriously.
What do you think?

When Jesus ascended to Heaven to return to His Father, the eleven disciples stood and watched Him rise through the clouds. An angel in the clouds nearby saw Jesus pass by and called out, "Jesus, where are you going?"
"Back to be with my Father in Heaven," he said.
"I thought you were going to bring salvation to the whole world!" the angel protested.
Jesus said, "I have. The atonement is complete. My work on earth is finished."
"But who is going to be your witness and go out into the world and spread the Good News and tell people you love them?"
"They are," Jesus said motioning toward his disciples.
The angel looked down on the rag-tag group of disciples. "Do you have a plan B?"
Remember – this is our story...That call to mission is ours...It is our turn to become witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
There IS no plan B.
People of Selsley......why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.
It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.