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When lit up by the fire of the Spirit….

June 11, 2017

SpiritLast Sunday was the Day of Pentecost, the 50th day of Easter, commemorating the New Testament blessing of the Holy Spirit, received by believers, filling them up and spilling forth in testimonies told in alien languages, witnessed by a diverse group of devout foreigners who’d gathered from every nation, and were able to understand the message about God’s deeds of power (Acts 2:1-6).

During the last few months, I’ve been studying the Benedictine Rule of Life, and more recently a study on Experiencing God. As I listened to the readings during last week’s Service, I thought about my own role in the greater community. How do I serve God? How do I allow the Holy Spirit to be active within me? How well am I receiving the breath of God?

Doesn’t it just figure that as I began to seek to know God’s will, and ask for God’s blessing in my endeavors, and to knock on the door of opportunity I found myself sucked into a swirling, gnarly mass of distractions and obligations?

“God, isn’t this what you want?”

“God, did I misunderstand your direction?”

“God, is this the right door? Was my knock too timid?”

I think I know the answers. In considering my own actions, and reflecting on my tiny progress on this path, I know it is the right direction. I must remain diligent and faithful. God doesn’t promise that service will be easy, but that the burden will be light. I know that some of the distractions should not have distracted me and some of the “obligations” were not mine to bear.

The last time I sincerely gave myself over to God, praying every day, “Here I am, God. Send me!” God didn’t send me, so much as brought His mission to me. That was three years ago, and it seemed like an impossible assignment. My knees have buckled more than once. Bowed down, I’m in a better posture for prayer. I’m learning to let God shoulder more of the burden, letting Him own the yoke He gave me. Learning that it’s not all on me.

Experiencing God means letting God be God. It means being humble. It means being intentional, turning to God, not relying on myself.

As we sang this hymn for the Gospel reading, I prayed the prayer:

Breathe on me, breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours
to do and to endure.

Entering into the Season of Pentecost, the Ordinary Time that fills the calendar between Easter and Advent, spanning so many uneventful months…let us pray for the life of the Holy Spirit within us, to seek and to serve God, according to His will.

LORD, you sent your Spirit, breathing life into our souls, renewing your kingdom on Earth. Renew us each day, reviving, awakening and purifying our hearts, giving us the strength and courage to obey your will. May your glory endure for ever. Amen. 

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