The celebration of Pentecost is on May 15. On this day, we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the
church in Jerusalem. Pentecost was a key moment in the history of the church. Before then, there was only a
group of dispirited but hopeful disciples. After that, those same disciples became apostles and preached Jesus
boldly. The fear that the disciples felt turned to boldness. As a result, many thousands of people joined the
church in a short period of time.
From fear to courage. From hiding the message to sharing the message. That is the transformation that
happened at Pentecost.
Pentecost continues to be relevant today. I’m often asked why the mainline church isn’t growing. I believe one
of the reasons is that we are often not Spirit guided. We also sometimes wonder – in our personal lives – why
we are not growing, finding purpose, and experiencing peace. Perhaps one of the reasons is we are not Spirit
A Spirit guided life is different than a Self guided life. Letting the Spirit guide us means surrendering a measure
of control. It also means – especially – living a life of dedicated prayer, just as the disciples did before the Spirit
Are we ready for the Spirit? A “no” answer is OK, but then we should not be surprised if we aren’t
experiencing God’s power in our lives and church.
God wants us to experience the boldness of his Spirit. Let’s be open to saying “yes” to him.
See you in church,
On Easter Sunday I spoke about how we all need a personal Easter, that area of our lives which the Lord wishes to heal. What’s challenging is not so much recognizing what needs healing, as recognizing the healer. At the tomb, Mary Magdalene did not recognize Jesus until he said her name. Jesus was there beside her, but she didn’t know it. This
is an apt experience for us as well. Often, we don’t recognize the Lord’spresence in our life until God gives us “eyes to see.”
Different people come to recognize the Lord in different ways. When Jesus appeared to the disciple Thomas, he had to show him the wounds in his hands and his side. Another time Jesus was walking beside two disciples on the road to Emmaus, but they didn’t realize it was him until he “broke bread” and gave it to them.
What is it that helps us recognize the Lord? Perhaps it’s Holy Communion. Perhaps it’s scripture or prayer. Although we aren’t able to see the physical Jesus any longer, perhaps we encounter the spiritual Jesus in the fellowship of other Christians.
In this Easter season, let’s be alert to the signs of the Lord’s presence in our lives. Then let’s open our hearts and lives to him, with “our hearts burning within us” like the disciples, so that we can experience the many blessings he has in store for us.
See you in church.