Recently we celebrated the Day of Pentecost in worship. That Sunday is the time we hear about the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and the church. We remember how the Apostles shared the gospel and everyone heard what the Apostles were saying in their own natural language. This biblical recounting of the events of that Pentecost Day is a great reminder to us of what can happen when the Holy Spirit visits us and our loves.
I suspect few of us experience the power of the Holy Spirit as “the rush of a mighty wind” or see the Holy Spirit as “divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” Rather, my experience has more frequently been of the quiet type. I feel the power of the Holy Spirit directing my life by internal nudging, by thoughts that seem as if to come from out of the blue, by the recognition that not only am I not alone in the moment, but the presence of God is with me in that moment. Sometimes this happens during periods of prayer, while often it happens when a spiritual hurdle confronts me. Over the years, I have learned to recognize and cherish these moments of spiritual presence and guidance.
Perhaps you too, know the ways in which God’s Holy Spirit comes and speaks words of strength and guidance. I suspect it is different from the way I experience it, because even while we are all children of God, we are individual children of God – each created differently. What speaks to me does not necessary speak to you and what speaks to you does not necessary speak to me. However, we all have this in common: when God’s Holy Spirit speaks to us, it is the Word of God coming to be helpful as it leads us in the direction God would have us go.
As the Summer months approach there will many occasions for us to hear the Holy Spirit speak to us in new and different ways and in unusual places. Of course, I believe the Holy Spirit always speaks to us through worship and in prayer, and the Spirit can speak to us when we see new things while on vacation; while we are traveling to visit family and friends; while we run the lawn mower over green grass or trim the shrubbery. All that it takes for us to hear God’s Holy Spirit speaking is to be open and to pay attention.
This Summer let’s be mindful that God’s Spirit is always with us and while we may be doing different things in different places, God’s Spirit is the one constant in our lives that helps us stay attuned to what God would share with us in this life. While we are all looking forward to a vacation or time off from the daily routine, make certain you provide time for the Holy Spirit to be your guide and companion. And perhaps, as I suggested on Pentecost Day, you could offer three minutes each day to be still, be quiet, and be focused so you can hear and feel the presence of God around you.
If you do, this Summer will be one to remember.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Butler +