Tomorrow is Pentecost. It is also two weeks since I announced to the congregation I serve that a change in pastoral leadership is coming.
As you can imagine, accepting the coming change is a difficult thing. Some people are ready to move forward while others are still trying to adjust to the news. For many this time simply feels like chaos, and questions about the future seem unanswered.
Yet, in the midst of it all, God is present and that is the whole point of what we celebrate on the Day of Pentecost. Some call it the "Birthday of the Church," but it is so much more. Pentecost is the celebration of Jesus' promise that God would send the Holy Spirit. It is a celebration of God's intimate presence with us.
I find it so appropriate that Pentecost Sunday should fall on Memorial Day weekend. In the midst of our national time of remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for our future, we celebrate the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for our salvation.
Jesus told his followers that the Spirit would remind them of all he said to them and teach them everything. The presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives would allow them to remember all that Jesus did and said so that, from their remembrance, they would be able to look forward to God's future for them and for the world.
The Spirit does the same for us today. We too, are reminded of the teachings of Jesus' life and words, and we are equally empowered by his indwelling presence to fulfill God's destiny for our lives. By the Spirit's leading and empowerment we are able to face our fears and challenges, even an unknown future, with divine direction and strength.
As we remember those who gave their lives so that we might be able to live, and as we celebrate the presence and power of the Spirit of Christ within us, let us be good stewards of the lives we are given. Placing our trust in God and in the power of his strength, let us boldly embrace the future before us as we savor and celebrate each day. With the presence of God within us, may we walk by faith in such a way that we might leave a legacy of love and hope that enables others to experience the power of the risen Christ and embrace the promise of God for their lives as well.