Tag Archives: Pentecost

Forward Today: Let’s not tame the Holy Spirit!

Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

Dear friends in Christ,

We’re coming up on our annual celebration of the Day of Pentecost, when we give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit in the church.

My sense is that we have domesticated the Holy Spirit. When something happens in the church that we like, we may say, “The Holy Spirit was here.” And that may well be true! But if we read the scriptural accounts of the Spirit’s arrival, people are almost always pushed into places that might not have otherwise gone.

The Holy Spirit does not bless the status quo, but rather leads us to the places beyond our imagining to which God calls us.

So, by all means, let’s celebrate the gifts of the Spirit! And then let us open our hearts and our lives to be led to places we might fear to tread. Lord knows the church needs some shaking up!

Jesus has promised that the Spirit will lead us in all truth, but that requires us to get our own agendas out of the way. Let us pray:

Come, Holy Spirit, come. Take our minds and think through them. Take our lips and speak through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire with love for you.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

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Forward Today: Making room for the Holy Spirit

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.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director



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