There’s the rub
Back when I lived in Hobart, I had a friend of whom I was quite fond, (and many years later, I’m still good friends with him and his wife and kids.) This friend was one of those people who had (and still has) a very earnest heart for God, and I always felt uplifted and energised after spending time with him. In fact, I often felt like a better person for having spent time in his presence, almost as if his enthusiasm for his faith and mission, or a hint of his spirit, rubbed off on me.
I was reminded of this friend when I read the Lectionary readings set for this Sunday. Because this Sunday is Pentecost, when we celebrate the coming of the promised Holy Spirit to the Church, the readings all have some connection with the Spirit. The Lectionary also provides some alternate readings this week, and one of those readings that caught my eye is the reading from Numbers 11:24-30.
The background to this reading is that the Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness for a while and were grumbling. Moses was exhausted from trying to deal with all the dissent, so God told him to nominate 70 Elders from among the people, to share the load and responsibility of leadership with him. The passage commences with the 70 Elders called to the tent of meeting, where God came down in the cloud, and took some of the spirit that was on Moses, and put it on the 70 Elders.
Whilst this is a very specific incident, it made me think of my friend back in Hobart, and how often the ‘spirit’ of one person can rub off on another, for good, or ill. It made me ask the questions, “What impression do I make on others? What is it of my spirit that rubs off on other people? Is it something positive or something negative?”
Perhaps this is something we can all think of about our own interactions with others.