Time for a fill-up?
We had a great time last weekend celebrating my wife Cyndi’s birthday! We went to worship, planted some veggies in our new garden, and walked down to the “Gig” to listen to the Shy Boys. Only problem was, we were one person down; our son Cooper joined us for the festivities, but we were without our daughter, Rachel. She sent a cool T-shirt that said, “I Got This T-Shirt from My Favorite Daughter.” And she called (along with a carload of colleagues, en route to a training event for Montreat College in North Carolina where she serves) to sing “Happy Birthday.”
But she wasn’t here. She was there where the Lord has called her. That’s part of what it means to be human. You are either here—or there. But you cannot be here AND there at the same time.
It is also what it meant for Jesus to be human. Jesus could do many remarkable things, as we are learning in our journey through Mark’s gospel. But he could only be in one place at one time. Oh, sometimes he appeared at that place in remarkable fashion—walking on the water or going through locked doors—but one of his limitations was that he could not be everywhere at once. We have a poignant reminder of that in the story of Lazarus when Jesus is in Galilee, his sick friend is in Bethany (90 miles south) and by the time Jesus arrives, Lazarus is dead.
That is why the church holy day of Pentecost matters so much. Jesus promised that after he left this earth, he would send his Holy Spirit, a person (not a thing) not bound by a material body. Which means that he could be with all of us, anywhere, all the time. We take Pentecost for granted, but before that time, the Holy Spirit only made occasional appearances. He would come in the Old Testament for a season, and then leave. But Jesus promised that he would send his Comforter to be with us forever; indeed, to live in us. And on Pentecost, he kept that promise.
Historically, Presbyterians have been (how should I say) a little cautious—a little nervous, perhaps—about the Holy Spirit and his unpredictable ways. (After all, as Jesus said, he is like the wind; he blows where he will!) Well—we at Chapel Hill are not that kind of Presbyterian! We welcome the Spirit, acknowledge his divinity, pray for his filling, and rejoice in his presence.
This weekend we celebrate Pentecost—and the third person of the Trinity—at Chapel Hill. Come join us! You could use the fill-up!
Here’s how can participate in the continuing work of the Holy Spirit that first entered the church 2,000 years ago…
- Celebrate Pentecost with us this weekend! Wear red to worship and rejoice in God’s global work with us during the weekend services. Joseph Bataille, World Relief’s Country Director in Haiti, will join us.
- Stay for On Earth as It Is in Heaven, a celebration of Chapel Hill’s global outreach opportunities from the past year. We’ll have a light lunch waiting in the Gathering place at noon on Sunday.
- Join in worship at Port Orchard’s waterfront this Sunday at 6:00 pm. It’s an exciting early look at how God is calling call us to advance his mission in Port Orchard.