God the Father creates and sustains you. Jesus Christ saves you through his death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit binds you together in love and gives you peace. The Spirit of God helps you in your weaknesses, intercedes for you, and knows you. The rushing wind of God, the Holy Spirit, breathes onto you and gives you the gift of life in Christ. The first Sunday of this month is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is the 50th day of our Easter celebration. At Pentecost, we continue to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by celebrating the arrival of the Holy Spirit. We conclude our dwelling in the greatest mystery of the resurrection by being swept away in the rushing breath of God.
We have a few different Biblical authors who commentate on the Spirit of God. Paul proclaims to the Romans that the Spirit is the one who prays on our behalf when we do not know for what to pray. Paul claims that the Spirit is present in life and death and helps us in our weakness. The author of the book of Acts describes the moment that the Spirit came like a violent rushing wind that divided as tongues of fire on the heads of the apostles and gave them the gift to speak in other languages and understand one another. In the Gospel of John, as Jesus says farewell to his disciples, he describes the one who is to come. Jesus comforts them with the promise of the Advocate. He reaffirms that “When the Spirit of truth comes, the Spirit will guide you into all the truth.” Jesus assures that the Spirit will proclaim the truth of the gospel to each one of you. The Spirit will speak the truth of everlasting life in Christ. Jesus says, “All that the Father has is mine. For this reason, I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” The Holy Spirit is the breath of God who speaks truth, comforts you, and prays on your behalf.
To be truthful, when I read these many passages about the Holy Spirit, I feel overwhelmed. These Biblical authors introduce the Holy Spirit to us. They talk about a Spirit of God who does many things in many ways. The Spirit is an advocate who speaks truth and consoles people. The Spirit is a mighty wind and fire that gives many gifts such as language, prophecy, proclamation, and service. The Spirit intercedes for us when we do not have words. The Spirit does these things and so much more. The Spirit is overwhelming. This Spirit who does these things is too mysterious. We do not fully grasp or understand who God is or how God is acting in the world. We start to point to where the breath of God is blowing. However, by the time we figure out what the Spirit is doing, the breath has moved and changed. The Holy Spirit continues to do the unexpected thing that moves and calls you into loving service of God and your neighbor. Just as Jesus saves the whole world by unexpectedly dying on a cross, so does the Holy Spirit bring life in the unexpected.
The Holy Spirit calls and equips you for the ministry of neighbor love. In Acts, we hear the story of the Holy Spirit giving many gifts to the apostles and those gathered for the Pentecost festival. The Holy Spirit sometimes pushes us with mighty winds or gentle breezes to one another into the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit calls each one of you with all your gifts and differences and unites you to one another in Christ. The Breath of God fills you with the life of Christ and calls you in love to love. Today we celebrate the new resurrected life of Jesus Christ by celebrating the newness of life that the Spirit breathes into all people.
Pastor Tyler Hoey, June 2022