As we look forward to celebrating Pentecost this Sunday, Rev. Justin Montague shares how the Holy Spirit is still at work today!
As our small group walked the stations of the cross together during a pilgrimage to Lourdes, a hill rose steadily above us, adding to the already strong emotions of our meditations following the Passion of Jesus Christ. As we took another momentary pause in silence to reflect on the life-size image of Jesus falling below the weight of the cross, we began to pray together led by our Chaplain. It was then my consciousness was drawn to two other groups standing huddled close by, who were like us, praying together at that precise moment, but in completely different languages. It was a powerful moment, a sense of intimacy, of togetherness in prayer, and a powerful reminder of the unifying power of the Holy Spirit that surpasses languages, nationalities and cultures.
In a way it is a very tiny glimpse of the experience of that most dramatic morning we celebrate this Sunday, where the very breath of God came upon Jesus’ first followers that first Pentecost. We are told in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit fell upon those gathered from many nations like the ‘rush of a violent wind’ and ‘tongues of fire’, as each were filled so powerfully and began declaring the wonders of God in many different languages.
This may have been over two millennia ago, but that same very gift of God, the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God, is here today. The same power and presence of the Holy Spirit that fills and transforms, that sustains and inspires, and is available to us today as we call upon the name of Jesus with our hearts and our lives. The Holy Spirit who continues to move around us, preparing the way before us and opens doors we cannot open on our own. The Holy Spirit who opens hearts that seem untouchable, infuses tired minds, fills empty cups and heals broken lives.
In church and across our town I am excited about the stories I am hearing of the places and in the people where the Spirit is moving, drawing people back together, building relationships and touching lives with a wind of hope. I also know in my heart we are but scratching the surface of the possibilities and opportunities both in our individual and corporate lives to shine and share the light and love of Jesus.
My prayer is that we are each encouraged as we discover the avenues God provides for us to join in the work of his freely moving Spirit around us, those who boldly step through the doors the Spirit opens for us and fervent praying people for such opportunities to jump on board with the Holy Spirit’s witnessing work in the places we are called to be.
Grace and peace, Justin
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