Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well, and that this devotion finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy!
Readings for May 23, 2021: Pentecost
Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 139: 1-12 (13-16); Acts 2:1-21; John 15: 26-27; 16:4b-15
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. John 15:26
As long as I can remember, I have always loved Pentecost. Pentecost is the day where we focus on and celebrate the Holy Spirit. When the One that Jesus promised to send to us after he ascended into Heaven, comes to begin his work among the body of Christ – the Christian Church.
I love Pentecost so much because I love, like the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit and his purpose among us. The Father has given His Spirit to us for the sole purpose of drawing us to Christ. He is the one that implants that seed of faith in our hearts and minds. He is the one that continues to draw us to the truth of Jesus. When we approach the Lord with a heavy and repentant heart, he is the one that removes the very heaviness of our guilt and fills us with Jesus’ joy. He is the one that binds all believers as one body, the body of Christ, like the ever flowing blood and ligaments within all living bodies. And through him we breathe and live a new life in Christ. This is called being Sanctified; having our being kept in the faith of Jesus as Lord and Saviour of our life. This is the awesome work of the Holy Spirit strictly for you and for me.
Thanks be to God for his Holy Spirit among us! May our proclamation of the Holy Spirit give him praise for drawing us to Jesus our Saviour and then working to keep each of us – you and me- in the faith, however that looks in our lives. Whether you are burdened and don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit speaks on your behalf. (Romans 8:26) In all things he desires to fulfill in you Jesus’ command to love thy neighbour by instilling in you his gifts of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a). And best of all, it is the Holy Spirit who instills and continues to securely keep your faith in Jesus, your Saviour, through his working in the Word and means of grace, and to guide you to fulfill all the works the Father has planned for you by the gifts and abilities he has given you, to his glory. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
Therefore, this week as we approach Pentecost, may we rejoice in the Holy Spirit as he is among and within you and all believers in Christ, and may we profess together the words of the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed and its meaning:
Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
What does this mean? I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true. (from Luther’s Small Catechism)
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, ever dwelling in the holiest realms of light; Holy Spirit, ever brooding, o’er a world of gloom and night; Holy Spirit, ever raising those of earth to thrones on high; Living, life-imparting Spirit, You we praise and magnify.
Holy Spirit, ever living as the Church’s very life; Holy Spirit, ever striving through us in a ceaseless strife; Holy Spirit, ever forming in the Church the mind of Christ; You we praise with endless worship for your gifts and fruits unpriced.
Holy Spirit, ever working through the Church’s ministry; Quick’ning, strength’ning, and absolving, setting captive sinners free; Holy Spirit, ever binding age to age and soul to soul. In communion never ending, you we worship and extol. (from the Lutheran Service Book page 650, Holy Spirit Ever Dwelling) In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!