Receive the Holy Spirit
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Romans 5.1-5)
In the Bible there are two accounts of how God gives us the Holy Spirit. First, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, today's celebration. But in John's gospel, on Easter day itself, with the disciples locked away like so many of us have spent the last year locked away, Jesus breathes on them and gives them the Spirit. (see John 20.22)
Both stories have important things to say, but this year, with all the challenges we face, and knowing what lockdown has done to us and how many of us have slipped from the practice of our faith, I am holding onto a picture of Jesus coming to each of us and breathing his life and goodness into us. "Receive the Holy Spirit." he says. My spirit of peace. And then He sends us into the world. Praying for others. And serving them in the name of Christ.
Overflowing God, breathe the spirt of Jesus into me and into all those who long for peace, especially those who have drifted from your way, got stuck in their faith, or who have not yet found a way to believe. You believe in them. Renew them by your Spirt. And today may your Church be filled with joy.
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