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The Holy Spirit Renews the Face of the Earth

Acts 9. 1 - 8

They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’

Next Sunday we celebrate Pentecost - the coming of the Holy Spirit, the reversal of the Tower of Babel debacle and the birthday of the church. If we put ourselves in the now and then of 1st century Palestine, there was a time when no one would have heard of the Holy Spirit. As the people in Ephesus said to Paul when he asked them about their baptism, "we have not heard there is a Holy Spirit."

What would your spiritual journey be like without the Holy Spirit? without the 3rd person of the Trinity, God moving among us, God our sustainer? Just last night I found myself praying for peace in a difficult situation, and I felt the movement of the Holy Spirit settle my heart and take away the anxiety and pain of the concern.

Perhaps a good activity for this week as we await the celebration of Pentecost would be to pay close attention to places the Holy Spirit moves in our lives and to give thanks for the gift of that 3rd person of the Trinity. After all, the psalmist in Psalm 104 speaks of the Spirit as the source of the created natural order. Certainly some people knew that She was coming!

This Taizé piece might prepare us for Sunday's celebration. My favorite line might be "Drive far away our wiley Foe and thy abiding peace bestow!"

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,

Vouchsafe within our souls to rest;

Come with Thy grace and heav'nly aid

And fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

To Thee, the Comforter, we cry,

To Thee, the Gift of God Most High,

The Fount of life, the Fire of love,

The soul's Anointing from above.

The sev'n-fold gifts of grace are Thine,

O Finger of the Hand Divine;

True Promise of the Father Thou,

Who dost the tongue with speech endow.

Thy light to every thought impart

And shed Thy love in every heart;

The weakness of our mortal state

With deathless might invigorate.

Drive far away our wily Foe,

And Thine abiding peace bestow;

If Thou be our protecting Guide,

No evil can our steps betide.

Make Thou to us the Father known;

Teach us the eternal Son to own

And Thee, whose name we ever bless,

Of both the Spirit, to confess.

Praise we the Father and the Son

And Holy Spirit, with them One;

And may the Son on us bestow

The gifts that from the Spirit flow! Amen.


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