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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Just a few short weeks ago, the Christian church celebrated Pentecost. Jesus promised his disciples that he would send God’s Holy Spirit to remain with them once he ascended into heaven.  “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16–18  This event, fifty days after Easter, is annually celebrated as the “birth” of the church.  The symbol of the Spirit is depicted in two familiar ways, as an ascending white dove and/or as tongues of flames. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1–4  The color red dominates the liturgical paraments.

Our spiritual life is predicated on the expectation that the Holy Spirit does indeed abide in the hearts and lives of God’s people. It is the Spirit that inspires our faith, conspires with us in our Christian work and is our very breath (respiration) in the midst of prayer. Next week, the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church will gather for its Annual Conference, a gathering of all elders along with an equal number of appointed laity. For three days, we will engage in what John Wesley called Holy Conferencing. We will join in worship and prayer, engage in biblical studies, share in any number of meals, ordain a new class of clergy, debate our polity and practice and generally indulge in fellowship and fun. At the center of our work shall be God’s Holy Spirit, inspiring and informing all that we do. I look forward to waving ribboned poles and lifting banners to announce the beginning of our time together and to affirm the very presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst.

Celebrating God's Holy Spirit!

Celebrating God’s Holy Spirit!

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