Come, Holy Spirit

Sanctuary at Pentecost 2014.2Friday

John 7

37“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 39Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive

“Come, Holy Spirit. Come.” It is the prayer of the Christian community.

The Spirit is gift and possession, yes, but it must also be sought.

We pray for the Spirit to guide our days. We pray for the Spirit to shape our lives. We pray for the Spirit to attend our worship, to speak to our hearts, to lift our spirits. We pray for the Spirit to fill us. We pray for the spirit to renew us.

Many of us ask all this of Jesus. But, technically, it is the Spirit to whom we turn, the Spirit that grants us faith, the Spirit that comforts and absolves us, the Spirit that sends and empowers us.

Come, Holy Spirit.

We live in two worlds. We live in the world of today, of work and dishes and bedtime rituals. The world of troubling news and anxious thoughts. The world of our brokenness and our flaws. The world of simple pleasures – and simply exquisite pleasures. The world where we read and walk and think and pray. The world where we work and serve.

But we also live in the world that is dawning. The world where we forgive and are forgiven. The world of peace and joy and power and grace. The world governed by the joy of the wedding feast. The world where the lion lies down with the lamb. The world where there is no night, for the Lord is its lamp. Where the light of the world shines. Where the Spirit renews the face of the earth. Where the Spirit bears its fruit. Where the gifts of the spirit bind up the broken and encourage the faltering and inspire our heart’s song. Where gifts build up the body and craft the stones from which a new world is formed: acts of mercy, justice, truth.

The church is that community that prays for the Spirit to reign in us. For the age to come to be born in us today. For life and grace to govern. For courage and endurance and clarity of mind and heart.

The church, the community of disciple-students, the living body of Christ in the world, prays for the Spirit to reign in us, for hope to dawn in us, for truth to dwell in us, for God’s imperishable life to pour forth from us.

Pentecost Sunday is fun. But like Christmas and Easter it is far more than the cool stuff we do, the bright banners, the altar covered in candles, the ‘flames’ that drape the cross and walls. It is far more than the languages, the prayers of blessing, the ancient thanksgiving, the bread shared in our midst. This day is about this central prayer that the Spirit may reign in us and among us and through us so that the world may catch a wisp of the Spirit’s breath in the most ordinary moments of our days – and in those extraordinary moments when grace beyond words is required.

“Come Holy Spirit. Come. Set free our hearts and our lips. That we may tell of your mercy to the ends of the earth.”


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