CELEBRATE THE SPIRIT!
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25
The Holy Spirit has been referred to as the “forgotten” Person of the Trinity. We can relate to God the Father because we have all had a father. We see His work of creation all around us. We can relate to God the Son because He is truly one of us. He is flesh and blood and has been tempted in every way we are tempted, yet without sin. The Holy Spirit is harder to understand. He is like the wind. He goes wherever He pleases, doing the will of God, without ever being seen.
During this time of social distancing and isolation, the Holy Spirit has become much more apparent to me. Because I can’t see you as much as I would like, I rely on the Spiritual bond we share as church family. We come together in “spirit and in truth” through our web casts and e-mails. Like the “wind” of the Holy Spirit, I may not be able to see you, but I can see what the Holy Spirit is doing in and through you as we talk on the phone, share e-mails, and occasionally meet together face to face. I also continue to hear great reports of how you are caring for and being cared for by our family of faith.
We will celebrate Pentecost Sunday on May 31. In the Old Testament, Pentecost, or the Festival of Weeks as it was known, was a harvest festival—a time to “bring in the sheaves” and praise God for his bountiful mercy. It was one of three festivals that Jews were encouraged to celebrate in Jerusalem. You can read more about it in Deuteronomy 16:9-17. In the New Testament, Pentecost became a festival of spiritual harvest. While Jews were celebrating this harvest festival, the Holy Spirit came upon the people of God in a mighty way. In the midst of various signs, He created saving faith in about 3000 people. You can read more about this Pentecost festival in Acts 2.
At the time I am writing this, I don’t know if we will be able to gather together for worship on Pentecost. But I do know that every day is a day to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit in our life and church. As Martin Luther says in his small catechism, “The Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the one true faith. In this Christian Church he daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.”
Until that great and glorious Day, since you live by the Holy Spirit, let each day be your personal Pentecost as you celebrate the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit and keep in step with Him in every area of your life.
Pastor Mark R. Rhoads