Pentecost 2013

I have no energy.
I feel the power.

There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit… The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose.

Pentecost, unless it falls very late, generally occurs within allergy season. If you have seasonal allergies you know that they cause the typical sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes. An overlooked side effect is feeling exhausted.

Allergies aren’t the only reason for exhaustion. American society is one of the most productive on earth. We work-work-work and we don’t see many people imitating the seven dwarves as they sing their way to work. Beyond work itself workers face a dilemma – whether to rest, take time off, or take a vacation. The current work environment looks at time-off as a sign of not being needed. If you’re not missed while you are away you may come back to a pink slip. Without time-off, without the balanced life we need, we live exhausted.

It is ironic that when Pentecost rolls around, and we reflect on the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit, many of us are just plain exhausted. We think – wow, it would be great to have the power of the Holy Spirit, that energy that drove the apostles and disciples to conquer the earth for faith in Jesus.

As we lay in bed in the morning our prayer to the Holy Spirit may well be, Spirit, help me get out of bed. Then we lay there and perhaps feel guilty, perhaps feeling that we either missed out on or lost those great gifts of the Spirit; even the energy to get up.

What scripture teaches about the Holy Spirit is important to us.

We learn that as Christians we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit dwells in each of us and is constantly filling us with love, inspiration, and very unique gifts – the variety of gifts given to each person for a good purpose.

The Spirit lives in us and listens to us. It is not a one-way conversation, the Spirit prompting us to do things but ignoring what we have to say. The Spirit takes what we say, and even what we cannot articulate, and brings those as prayers and petitions before the Father. As a result we get help.

Key to all of this is trust. Jesus told the Pharisees that the only unforgivable sin was to speak against the Holy Spirit. This is not literal – like saying the Holy Spirit is a bad guy. It is a failure to see and acknowledge the good the Spirit is doing, to trust the obvious power of the Spirit in our lives with Christ. This Pentecost we may feel exhausted, but we must trust that the Spirit is with us, giving us the gifts we need to do good, hearing our prayer, filling us with power!