Pastor’s Email Devotion
The Week Following the Baptism of our Lord
January 11, 2015
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8, NRSV)
Bzzzzt! And just like that, a tiny spark leaps the gap between the tip of my finger and the palm of the person’s hand in front of me. I am administering wafers at New Day worship as we begin communion, and the first person in line gets a tiny zap …. Bzzzzt! It is the static electricity generated by the all-purpose floor covering in the FLC, and I know from past experience that every two or three people will get a tiny buzz when there is the slightest touch of skin to skin as I pass out the Body of Christ. For only a handful of folks, will a tiny spark erupt in the synapse between our skins …. Bzzzzt! For many it will only be a sound and a miniscule and uncomfortable zap …. Bzzzzt! For some, who have worn differently soled shoes, there is no buzz at all ………. The covetous spirit hiding deep within me, wants to make this rather ordinary event of common physics into something spiritual. I want to convince myself that this is the Holy Spirit, channeled by God from pastor into his flock. Finally, I think momentarily, a tangible proof that the Spirit exists, and I have become the conduit! It is only seconds before the thought passes from my mind … for my covetousness is balanced only by a stronger spirit of reality.
HOWEVER …… just imagine if the Spirit were that easily identified in life. Imagine that we had a visible sign of the Spirit’s presence and passage. Imagine a world in which the Holy Spirit were so clearly recognizable. Imagine …..
Yes, imagine … on second thought, though … there is no need to imagine. Because we already have the very thing we desire. The Third Article of our Apostles’ Creed offers us the classic expression of where we see the Holy Spirit at work in our world … in “the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” Are these not sufficient verification of the presence of an active Holy Spirit let loose upon our world? Are these not visible signs of the Spirit’s work among us? Are these not as identifiable a set of tangible realities as one might ask for as “proof” for the Spirit? And they are just the starting point the nexus of the Holy Spirit that is alive within you, my friends, and in those with whom you live, and the guy down the street, and the person in the pew behind you, and in the great hopes God has placed within our hearts and souls. Covet no more, and simply enjoy the gift made known in Holy Baptism, which we celebrated liturgically this morning, and which is easily seen in a whole lot of other places in our world, too.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. And kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you will renew the face of the earth. Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit you have taught the hearts of your faithful. In the same Spirit help us to relish what is right and always rejoice in your consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
~~ Prayer to the Holy Spirit from A Book of Prayers