From the Bishop: Pentecost 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ -The third person of the Trinity – God’s Holy Spirit – is often portrayed in the Bible in terms so powerful and “other” as to be confounding to us in our here and now. Whether the Spirit is the “sound of rushing wind” and “tongues of fire” as recorded in the Book of Acts, or the great and first creative force that “moves over the face of the waters” at the world’s beginning in Genesis, the Spirit is powerful beyond measure, and awesome almost beyond description.
In the long green season after Pentecost which the Church will keep in the months ahead, it seems important to hold to these ancient accounts of the Spirit, and not to let our familiarity with her name and her person keep us from being honest about who she is and how she moves. When the Spirit makes an appearance on the scene in this present day – when the Spirit moves in or through us as followers of Jesus – it is likely to be more like an invasion of our lives than the sort of blissful experience that we often imagine and for which we often pray.
When the Spirit is on hand, we are moved to speak powerfully and act boldly, as priorities change and new insights occur and new experiences of God’s presence and God’s ways rain down upon us. There is nothing easy or routine about an experience of the Holy Spirit. Rather, the Spirit sets us on fire.
Jesus keeps every promise he makes in holy scripture. That track record is not broken at the end of his earthly ministry when he promises to send the Spirit – the Advocate – to be with us. I bid you my brothers and sisters to watch and listen for the Spirit’s call on your life and for her presence in the midst of the Church in this time and this place. Come down oh love divine, and blow across our Nebraska prairie with the fierce blessing of your presence.
Set our hearts on fire!
Faithfully Yours in Christ –
+ Bishop Barker