Hear the Spirit
Hear the Spirit
I’ve always loved our scripture lesson for today. I mean, what’s not to like? It’s an amazing story filled with miracles, and action, and surprises! There’s the sound of a rushing wind... and what seemed to be flames flickering on everyone’s head! The disciples began to speak in foreign languages - and the people gathered from all over the world could understand... they could hear the Good News in their own language! It was kinda an undoing of the whole “Tower of Babel” when everyone’s language was scrambled up and no-one could understand. Now, everyone could understand.
And then there’s Peter... our bold, first to act “leader of the disciples” Peter, who stood to address the crowd. Of course, he didn’t stand alone. We often read right over it... but Peter, we’re told, stood with the Eleven, the other disciples, shoulder to shoulder... reminding me that we never stand alone. That’s a huge part of why we gather as a church family - so we’ll never have to stand alone.
Think about these men, these disciples... they’d spent years listening to Jesus, learning from Jesus. They learned about the kingdom of God. Then watched Jesus heal the sick, cast out demons. They had joined with Jesus in ministry, in spreading the good news.
Jesus told his disciples to “go” - make disciples of all people. But despite the fact that they had learned from Jesus, and they had ministered alongside Jesus for years… they were not quite ready. They still needed something more before they would be able to live into, the calling that Christ is placed on their lives.
I suppose it can be equated, in someway, to what we experience in life. We go to school for 12 years… then we’re off to college, or trade school, or the work force… But all the while, despite all those years of learning, all that acquisition of knowledge… we’re still not quite ready.
In the world, the physical world, experience, turns out to be the best teacher. Book knowledge will only take you so far. We have to get our hands dirty. We have to actually do the work in order to learn the trade. So to speak.
But for Jesus’ disciples, it was more than just “getting their hands, dirty.” The Disciples had already acquired a good bit of experience. Jesus had even sent his disciples out into the world, to do the very things that Jesus did. So what they needed was more than experience. They needed more than hands-on training.
The disciples, Jesus’ disciples… needed the Holy Spirit.
In fact, Jesus told his disciples to wait until they received the Holy Spirit… For when they receive the Holy Spirit, the power of the Holy Spirit… They would receive courage, and strength, and persistence… In order to do the actual work of building up the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit would equip the disciples with the very power and presence of God himself… a power and presence that would enable them to face and overcome obstacles, hardships, and trials, that they would surely face.
And the really Good News is that Jesus is still giving his disciples his Holy Spirit today. If it were not for the power of the Holy Spirit, I would not be standing before you at this very moment - I can assure you of that!
Christ gives us his presence through the power of his Spirit within us… The Spirit guides us, directs us, reminds us of all the things that we’ve already learned, things that we know. But we need the Holy Spirits help in order to act upon those things, and to put those things in the practice. The spirit empowers us with gifting’s and graces that we simply cannot possess on our own.
And that same Holy Spirit is still in the business of giving God’s people, courage and boldness, to live our life to the fullest for Christ. The Holy Spirit is still in the business of offering gifts that you and I need in order to be the people that God has called us to be. The Holy Spirit is still in the business of giving you and me, peace, and patience in the midst of life’s trials. The Holy Spirit goes before us… helping us to implement the lessons that we have learned along the way.
I think it’s important for us to remember, that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit, that we can do all the things that God calls us to do. The Holy Spirit will work in and through us to accomplish God’s will in our lives… But it certainly requires us to move. You and I have to open our hearts to the presents of God’s spirit in our life. We have to dedicate ourselves, and open our lives to the Holy Spirit, in service to Christ.
God gave us the Holy Spirit, comfort us, to help us, to empower us, as we become the hands and feet and voices of Christ in this world.
We never know what’s just around the bend. We can’t know what tomorrow will bring. But we do know this: God is there. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, he’s bringing us to where we need to be.
Put your trust in Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and equip you, and empower you, as we serve the Lord.