“Lord send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth!”
That’s the Psalm response we sing today. It’s a powerful statement that God is not static, but demonstrates His presence through motion, action, and creation. The psalmist recognized the importance of the Spirit of God many years before Christ, and the Jewish people sang out their praise through the Psalms. In Luke, we hear the angel tell Mary that the Holy Spirit would descend on her so she could bear the Christ. We hear that Mary traveled to Elizabeth, who was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in joy when she greeted Mary. And her baby leapt within her womb. All motion, action, creation!
On Pentecost, the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and they found they were able to do incredible things. They spoke in all kinds of foreign languages, and they were given the power to proclaim Jesus’s words with authority and conviction. They ultimately spread the truth of the Gospel to all corners of the earth, building the Church, enabled by the Holy Spirit. Now that was motion, action, and creation in a big way!
How do we experience the Holy Spirit in our lives? The Bible gives us many active images to help us describe it: a bird descending, tongues of flame descending, a noise like a strong wind. But the Spirit can’t be seen directly; we only know its presence through the trail it leaves behind – by what people are moved to do and accomplish.
We are called to let the Spirit act through us. There isn’t one way this happens. Some people are gifted writers, some proclaim the Word of God beautifully, some are talented painters, some know how to feed the poor, some are healers, some are great organizers of mission trips. As the apostles showed us, with the Spirit, the possibilities are endless!
“God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” -John 4:24
As for me, one way I most experience the Holy Spirit is through music. I am not a composer, writing music is not my gift. But one of the greatest joys in my life is to praise God and to lead others in praise through song, When I hear the choir in full harmony and hear the congregation raising their voices, I hear the Spirit moving through the church. And I hope that it touches and inspires us all to move, act and create God’s kingdom here on earth, starting with our parish.
I am grateful that the Holy Spirit directed my steps and decisions, and guided the love and support of my family and friends, to move me along this journey. I don’t always know what I’m doing, and in those times I remember how Jesus told us to trust the Spirit: “For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” -Luke 12:12
I pray we all let the Spirit guide us to move, to act and to create in the name of the Father and the Son. And just like it was for the apostles, we can use Pentecost as our starting point. Let’s get started and see where the Holy Spirit takes us!
-Phil Lamoureux, June 2019