Sunday, June 04, 2006

Spirit

Today is the first Sunday of Pentecost. I attended a service last night and was reminded of the significance of Jesus sending his Spirit to not only be with and upon his followers, but also within them. I have preached from the Pentecost texts more times than I can recall, but this time I was on the listening end of things. The preacher did a great job of explaining the text and applying it for today, even effectively using clips from Star Wars and tying "The Force" in with the Spirit. One thing I left with was contemplating what it meant that we can today walk in this world with the Spirit of Jesus, doing the same things he did and continuing his work in our world. The pastor shared an illustration about Jackie Robinson, who was being harassed and hated by the crowds and other players as the first Black player to begin much-needed integration of baseball. One night in Brooklyn, during intense attack from the crowd after making an error, the ever-popular Short Stop Pee Wee Reese walked over and put his arm around Jackie, showing his love and acceptance, quieting the crowd. The Pastor shared that this is much like how the Spirit comes along beside us and pats us on the back, affirming and loving us one of God's children. This is also, he noted, how God uses people to be vessels of the Spirit into the lives of people who need a touch from Him. The challenge of being missional in our world today is to do that which Jesus left us to do; to share the Good News of God, loving the world in the same radical way Jesus did as He walked this world. He continues to walk in our world when we allow ourselves to be guided and empowered by his Spirit.

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