This past Sunday as we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, we heard the good news that the Holy Spirit isn’t some fickle magic we have to conjure, but instead, in the way of our incarnate Savior, the Holy Spirit is empowering us to be present in real life.
Instead of the Holy Spirit being a super power that helps you to float above circumstances, you have been filled with the Holy Spirit precisely so that you can faithfully tend to the circumstances in your life.
How is that good news? Wouldn’t it be better to have a super power that made us impervious to all the chaos and struggle of real life?
The good news of Pentecost, and the Incarnation for that matter, is that we have received an embodied spirituality. The Christian faith is not blind optimism, nor is it hopeless nihilism. Instead, it is a radical commitment to the real world. The Creator is so committed to creation, to “real life,” that the plan of reconciliation flows directly through Creation entering into and participating in creation.
Just as Christ left heaven to take on flesh and be present among us, the Holy Spirit is empowering us to be present to all of life — present to the joys, the heartache, the mysteries, and the pain.
At times it’s tempting to believe that we’d be better off not being present to certain parts of life. We’d rather float on through unscathed or unaware. But that’s not life, creation as it currently exists is broken and filled with heartache, but, even as Christ’s work of reconciliation is incomplete, this is living. To experience love, loneliness, loss.
This is the shape of life as it currently exists, and the Divine Spirit is drawing us into reality, not numbing us to it, so that we can join in the Creator’s ongoing reconciling work in our midst.
Dear friends, may you walk through this week aware of reality all around you — the surprising moments of joy, the creaky joints, the anger you feel when you witness suffering — and may God’s Holy Spirit empower you to be present to life so that you can join him in renewing the very ground you walk on.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, go in peace to love and serve the Lord,