Pentecost, or Whitsunday, which is celebrated this year on Sunday, May 23, marks the birth of the Church, a grass-roots movement led by followers of The Way who listen, learn, and live the way of love with Jesus, the teacher. Over 2,000 years ago, we, the church, were given the gift of the Holy Spirit to inspire us to speak with animation and passion about Jesus’ message for the world and to walk the way of love.
The Holy Spirit is associated with amazing displays like fire, tongues, rushing wind, or dramatic healing, but there are other ways in which Spirit shows up and moves us today. We can be drawn to the spiritual gifts of stillness and quiet, awe, and simple gestures of kindness. And, Church doctrine (teachings) confirms the third person of the Trinity, Holy Spirit is God working in the world today.
- The Holy Spirit is our Advocate who teaches us. (see John 14:26)
- The Holy Spirit is always with us. (see John 14:16)
- The Holy Spirit encourages and strengthens us. (see Acts 9:31)
- The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts. (see Acts 19:6; Hebrews 2:4)
- The Holy Spirit fills us. (see Acts 13:9, 13:52)
- The Holy Spirit sanctifies us (helps us become holy). (see Romans 15:16)
- The Holy Spirit gives us joy. (see I Thessalonians 1:6)
- The Holy Spirit lives in us. (see 2 Timothy 1:14, I Corinthians 3:16, I Corinthians 6:19)
- The Holy Spirit helps us live together as the Church. (see Acts 2:42-27)
- She is our teacher, guide, counselor, and intercessor
- And, we receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized. (see Acts 2:38).
We invite the Holy Spirit to be present our life. The following prayer written by Augustine of Hippo is helpful.
Following the Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.
Or, this simple ‘Morning Resolve’ written by Scott Gunn urges every Christian to have some kind of daily prayer life, whether it’s silence, the daily office, free intercessions, or the lovely prayers that accompany Forward Day by Day. These daily conversations with God remind us who we are and who we are called to be.
I will try this day to live a simple, sincere and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, generosity in giving, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a childlike faith in God. In particular I will try to be faithful in those habits of prayer, work, study, physical exercise, eating, and sleep which I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me to be right. And as I cannot in my own strength do this, nor even with a hope of success attempt it, I look to thee, O Lord God my Father, in Jesus my Savior, and ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen.