The Gift of the Spirit

Pentecost 2015Pentecost
May 24, 2015

Scripture Reading: John 16:4b-15

‘I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgments, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. –John 16:4b-11

The Spirit of God, this Advocate, is described here as having three primary functions and we are the functionaries:

  1. To prove the world wrong about sin because the world does not believe in Jesus who taught that sin is living without relationship with God rather than simply a failure to address moral issues;
  2. To prove the world wrong about righteousness, because while Jesus’ death on the cross to the world was proof of his unrighteousness, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead nullified that proof;
  3. To prove the world wrong about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned and rendered powerless through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Do we live as citizens of the Kingdom of God in this “world” in synch with God as servants of a risen Savior who has overcome evil in the world?

At Christmas we welcome Emmanuel, God with us. At Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior who overcame the “world”. At Pentecost God calls us to move out into this “world” and demonstrate the love of God illustrated through this wondrous gift of God’s son. We are to do this through our words and deeds with a courage we can only draw from God who continues to rain strength on us through God’s Spirit.

In the church year Pentecost is the celebration on the liturgical calendar that leads into what is called ordinary time. While that term has rich meaning in that it says living as God’s functionary needs to become our normal way of being, I like to call it “Living in the Spirit” because I need to be reminded routinely that with God love is the norm.

Prayer: Thank you for sending Jesus to living among us; thank you for overcoming evil through his life, death, and resurrection; and thank you for the gift of your Spirit whose courage, guidance, and constant presence we need to continue your work today. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.