Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you paid attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life lately? Is it something to which you’ve given much thought? As Lutherans, it is no secret, as found in our weekly profession of the Nicene Creed, that we believe in one God, in three persons; we know this to be the Holy Trinity. Throughout the past few weeks, we have been treated to the Gospel, selected scriptures and thoughtful sermons rooted in the post-resurrection and post-ascension movement of the apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ. And in those weeks, special attention is given specifically to the Holy Spirit, who Christ promises to send to us in His absence. Our very personal and intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, God in yet another person of the Trinity, forces us to contemplate this wonderful mystery of faith.
As any faithful follower will tell you, our living God is at work in our lives! In these days, His work is done through the Holy Spirit. A few weeks ago, I shared with you some moments in my life where I truly felt the Spirit upon me. I hope that served to cause you to reflect upon your life and moments that may be similar, or completely different. Yet, acknowledging the same spirit at work!
Yet through this reflection, my heart breaks for those that may not know, or feel the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. I refer to those who may have no exposure to the faith or may be so long removed, they feel they can never return to the church. Maybe they have become so angry, they have chosen to shut God out. How truly sad that this detachment may have been caused by a tragedy in their life, financial hardship, the sudden loss of a loved one, or a dire diagnosis of their own mental or physical health. All things that require prayer and should draw one closer their God!
St. Bonaventure reminds us that the Holy Spirit comes where he is loved, where he is invited, and where he is expected. We sing it each week in the eucharistic liturgy, “Holy Spirit, Come!”. We know that life has its moments, and while God shares in our delight during the “ups”, He never stops loving us and calling us to himself during our “downs”. The Holy Spirit is the greatest of all gifts bestowed on us in our baptism, whom through our lives never leaves us.
Lately, I feel our congregation needs to be reminded of this truth! There are many of our family whom we have not seen recently. When those who have faithfully sat beside us each week go missing for quite some time, it should raise concern. We need to visit each other more. We need to do more for one another; be it errands, chores, time spent sharing a meal, providing a ride to Mass, or simply lending an ear or a shoulder for a good cry.
Most importantly, we need to be there for each other to serve as a physical reminder that the Holy Spirit is at work within us, even when it seems that life is in whatever way, forever changed. And there are so many beyond our own members that need this reminder…when we take that love, compassion, caring, and truth and share it with our community, our workplace, and especially with those who do not know the love of Jesus Christ, we see the work of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to pray over these thoughts. Serving as your deacon and knowing you better through the lens of our Savior continues to be a true blessing in my life. Peace be with you. +