Dear friends in Christ,
This Sunday is the Day of Pentecost, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit.
My experience of this feast day is that it’s often accompanied by gimmicks. People make cakes and sing happy birthday to the church. The red balloons come out. And so on.
Now I have no objection to any excuse to enjoy a good cake. And if balloons liven up your worship, you’ll get no complaint from me!
Still, I wonder if we are doing these things to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit or precisely because the Holy Spirit makes us a bit uncomfortable. As one who has a habit of making jokes in awkward situations, I know what it’s like to try to distract away from serious topics.
If we read the Book of Acts, we’ll see that the Holy Spirit led the church into all sorts of amazing new ministries and opportunities. The Gospel was spread in places that would have been inconceivable without the Spirit’s leading. The Spirit is not something that made folks smile so much as the force that compelled people into terrifying but fruitful directions.
In the days leading up to Pentecost, I encourage you to sit down and read the whole Book of Acts. It won’t take too long. It’s filled with amazing stories about what happens when the church lets the Spirit lead.
I wonder what would happen if we let the Holy Spirit lead us as a church? What if we used the Day of Pentecost as an opportunity to open ourselves up to what God wants, not what we might personally prefer? What are the places in our world that need Gospel witness, and how might the Spirit lead us there?
Let us pray that the fire of the Spirit animates our hearts to take us where we could not go on our own.
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Image: Ted, Pentecost Icon, Flickr
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