Search Our Own Hearts
“When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth.” As I sit to write this devotion, my heart is aching. To say the news in recent days (and months) is troubling is an understatement for sure. There is much that is not right with the world at the moment, but I have never been a doomsday kind of person. I know that so much that is wrong gets amplified and clouds the so much more that is right and good. Yet, the wrong is not to be ignored, especially when injustice is so blatantly in our faces.
We have to search our own hearts for how we may be contributing to the ungodliness around us. Though such soul-searching is never comfortable, it is necessary, not as an exercise in naval-gazing, but because we truly want to learn, to grow, and to be different. Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Our everyday cognitive understanding can only take us so far. Jesus witnessed this in His disciples over and over again when He would speak of divine truths and they just wouldn’t get it. He knew that they would need divine illumination and guidance and promised His Spirit would be with them (and us) always even after Jesus went to be with the Father. Jesus made a way for us to “get it” if we will just open ourselves up to the Spirit of God with great anticipation of what is to be revealed.
On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were gathered together in one place anticipating this promise of the Lord. I believe that it was their anticipation, their expectancy that fueled the air for the Holy Spirit to come. They knew that their best efforts were not going to be enough in the challenges they faced. So they gathered physically in one place and looked with one focus for the empowerment that Jesus had promised. And the prophet Joel’s words came true on that day: “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh…..then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The strong wind of the Spirit is far more powerful than the winds of conflict and division that blow through our world today. The fire of the Spirit can burn up every destructive force around us. The Word of God, revealed by the Spirit, goes forth and does not return void but accomplishes all God intends (Isaiah 55:11). God intends to renew the face of the earth by His Spirit and He has chosen us to carry His Spirit into the world. We are divinely recreated by His Spirit…..equipped for every good work….to speak Truth and seed hearts with the revelation of Jesus Christ everywhere we go.
Jesus knows that there are many souls out there who anticipate that there must be more than what this world is offering. May we be the constant invitation for others to turn their hearts to Jesus and to find the life, hope, and peace that can only be found in Him.
Let us pray:
"Grant, O merciful God, that Your Church, being gathered together in unity by Your Holy Spirit, may show forth Your power among all peoples, to the glory of Your Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen." (BCP, p. 233)