In our reading from John's gospel, Jesus stands up at the Jewish festival of Tabernacles. This is a festival of thanksgiving for God's provision, similar to our harvest festival, but also reminding the Jews of their history of the Exodus out of Egypt and slavery and their journey through the wilderness.

When I was in the Holy Land in October 1992, the festival of Tabernacles was being celebrated, many of the Jewish households built a makeshift shelter made from palm and other tree branches. Then the family would live in these shelters for the legth of the festival, to remind them of their nomadic history, whilst praising and thanking God for his guiding and provision then and now.

On the last day of this festival, we read, Jesus stood up and addressed the Jews, telling them that, "yes," God has been good to you in the past, but now God is doing a new thing through me, Jesus." Anyone who is thirsty," in other words, has needs,worries, concerns, etc, "come to me, believe in me and I will give you the Holy Spirit, We remember what the Holy Spirit did for the disciples, It broke their fear and gave them confidence to speak out the wonders of God. Everyone listening heard and understood what was being said, even though there were people from many different nations.

Jesus likens the result of the giving of the Holy Spirit to streams of living water. If you think of streams of fast running water particularly in mountainous areas, the water falls are very powerful, the streams are pure, clean, clear water. Jesus says: "this is what will flow from us when we receive the Holy Spirit. Although the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in a particularly dramatic and powerful way on that day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is still around and available, with power but also a gentle, comforter and guide, now.

Just recently Lovell has had fibre optic wire laid round the whole village even to the out lying farms, to bring super-fast broadband and although it's been laid sometime ago, it's useless, due to the pandemic, until each household is connected to the fibre in the ground. This is similar to the Holy Spirit, it's available and ready especially since Jesus left the earth, but each person has to believe in Jesus and come to Him with their needs, worries and concerns, as well as their joys and thanks and we will receive the Holy Spirit. It may be in a powerful, dramatic way or it may be in a gentle, comforting or guiding way, alaying our fears, purifying, cooling refreshing us, giving us confidence to do right things and to speak to others about God. We may not feel confident but just do it and see how the Holy Spirit helps us and them.