‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit, which believers in him were to receive. (John 7:38)
The Day of Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter, is the gift of God’s indwelling Spirit to the whole body of the faithful and the empowerment of the church. It is THE celebration of new life in God through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit! “Indwelling power” is a strange thing to think about in an age where Marvel super-heroes dominate the movie screen and innocent people die by neglect and violence.
What is ‘indwelling power’ and what does it have to do with me, might be the real question lurking below the over-used response, “It’s the Holy Spirit.” “It.” It is not an it at all, God is the Holy Spirit who is, was and is to come. The power we are speaking about is nothing less than the presence of God dwelling in you and enabling you to do/be/live in a way you couldn’t if the Holy Spirit was not there. Now, this may seem like I am talking is circles, and I am if we don’t consider these truths with a new perspective.
It is a sad truth that we often only consider our lives through the negative lens. When we get sick for instance, our world is defined by our sickness and the injustice of it all. The sad thing we don’t consider is that we weren’t sick last week, or yesterday! That we have been healthy for a long time and productive and happy is overshadowed by our current (and possibly) fleeting discomfort.
We don’t often consider the Holy Spirit working in us and through us all the time giving us power (Grace) to encounter, embrace, and overcome the challenges of life beyond our own native ability to do so. The power of God is the presence of God raising us up beyond our own abilities to act and respond in grace and mercy. When we fail to achieve this on our own we rarely, if ever, remember when we did, and to give God the glory for those times as we strive to embrace God all the more.
I love watching the super-hero movies, but when they are over I am all the more secure in the true power which doesn’t rely on a spider bite or a special formula. Pentecost is not an event that happens in a day; Pentecost is a relationship that grows through life! Your life is found in Christ and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is found in you.
Out of the believer’s heart shall flow the indwelling power. which is the Holy Spirit!
Father Bill Burk†