Last Sunday’s sermon for Pentecost was convicting, for most of us. We, like the Apostles of old, have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our reaction: whether we stifle the Spirit within us or whether we open ourselves to God’s mission in the world- is our response to God’s leading.
The “sneers” of some at Pentecost, still resonate with us 2,000+ years later. We are overly sensitive to the statements of others. We so want to be accepted and loved by our community that most of us have been willing to sacrifice our Christian mission for that acceptance. It can be hard to think of ourselves as weak in our witness- but I fear that is what we often are.
There remains, however, hope. We may fear and we may shrink, but, God has a plan. God is in charge and has already begun great things in us. GREAT THINGS! We may not know what they are yet, but we can be sure that our Lord has not left us alone. We hear this in one of my favorite pieces of scripture- Paul’s greeting to the Philippian Christians. “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). Here’s the big news, though: The church at Philippi was just another church. They struggled and fought then as we do now. They rejoiced at a baptism and celebrated God’s incredible grace and Spirit as we do now. If God began a good work in them, then there is no reason to doubt that God has done the same in us.
Kurt Hahn, the pioneer of Outward Bound adventure programs was made famous by one statement. “There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.”
There is more in us than we know. God, however, knows us inside and out, and has prepared us to do something great- in God’s name and for God’s glory.
Prayer: God has created me to do some definite service. God has committed some work to me which God has not committed to another. I have my mission, I have my call. I may never know it in this world, but I shall be told it in the next. I shall be a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I but keep God’s commandments. Therefore I shall trust God. Wherever, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away; God does nothing in vain. Amen. –JHC Newman