Monday, June 20, 2011

The Spirit is Among Us

On Pentecost Sunday, our pastor preached on Acts 2 and challenged us to think of the world as a “God-filled place.”  Wherever we are, he reminded us, God is at work through God’s Spirit.  I was impressed by the message but also reminded that we seem to have a healthier regard for the Holy Spirit now than we did in the recent past. 

I may be wrong, but my impression is that during much of my life, Baptists were reluctant to deal with the work of the Holy Spirit.  When the Spirit was mentioned from the pulpit, the point was to tell us what the Spirit did not do—lead us to speak in tongues, provide miraculous healing, etc.  Perhaps I have just become more teachable when it comes to the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church and the believer as I have seen the work of the Spirit in unexpected ways.

Without an appreciation for the work of the Holy Spirit, we would have a hard time explaining the power and influence of scripture let alone its creation.  The Spirit of God had to move in a special way among individuals and communities of faith to both create and sustain the texts that became our Bible.  The way that the ancient words speak to our needs today is a testimony to the power of the Spirit.  The Spirit opens our eyes to the applicability of scripture to our lives today, bringing together the story of redemption with our own stories, providing new insights and understanding.

I am thankful that God has sent the Spirit to bless us and guide us each day.   Our world would be a desolate place without the Spirit’s presence.

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