Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Risen Lord Sends the Holy Spirit (14)

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and Son, who with the Father and Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.

from The Nicene Creed, Book of Common Prayer, 1662

In his wonderful book on ordained ministry, Edward Zaragoza, explains that fulfilling the call to Christian ministry is about friendship: our being at home with ourselves, reaching out to others in mutual love, and accepting and responding to God's offer of friendship love. Even more, it is about God being Trinity, One in Three, as the Spirit is given and shared by Father and Son.

Ministry in the Spirit is supposed to be life-giving, at least as much as it is life-taking. This is not how generations of clergy have been trained to approach our calling. I remember years ago, when I was speaking on this topic, an older clergy leader stood up and said, in essence, "Ministry for me was something I was expected to do- it never even entered my mind that I was supposed to enjoy it."

The sad thing is, we may well end up obeying the calendar and not the living God, the wind and breath of life, the Holy Spirit. We may end up satisfying the expectations of everyone except the Holy Spirit. Instead, that is the one thing we have any hope of doing. That is the one thing we really have to worry about.

Don't miss what is meant for all. Even though so much divides us, the mark of the Spirit's presence in Acts is one in which all were blessed in a similar way by the one and same Spirit: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit...." (Acts 2:4a)

There is absolutely nothing given about our next breath. Life itself is all grace. Experiencing the first late summer Canadian front whipping its chilly way across Lake Erie is always a thrill! (photo above) Wind recreates, refreshes, renews. Here, at #14, I need to go to where I can experience wind- and remember both the sign and the strength of Holy Spirit's presence within, the Lord, Giver of Life.

Stop at this last Station of Light. For it's here that our journey culminates and begins. Here, we receive our birthright, the sealing of Holy Spirit, and our adoption as God's own sons and daughters in Jesus. And, "receive the Holy Spirit." John 20:22

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