Holy Spirit is FIRE, shut up in my bones…

Grace and Peace to you as we people of faith, open up of ourselves, to the power of the Holy Spirit in this place, given to us by God our Creator and from our risen Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen

 I want to share with you a story

(Stepping away from the pulpit, telling the story about when Israel my daughter was between schools, and how the education system in Chicago is less than desirable; how there was a town hall meeting about her future high school, and who the powers behind the screen were displacing the children in this current elementary school to make way for this new middle/high school, only because of the political/economic prominence of the parents of this other elementary school; How voices from both sides were being heard, and how they asked for any others who wanted to weigh on the issue. How my daughter said “Mom, you should say something” and how I did begin this carefully crafted speech but for 5 seconds I can not remember what I say but when I was present in the room once more, I had riled up the crowd to their feet, charged with calling the one corporate entity on the carpet).

The only thing I can truly say with affirmation

Is that the Holy Spirit had to be involved.

Is that strange?

Peter states in Acts that the Creator God declares

that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,”

Causing prophetic testimony

Isn’t that the same when we as people of faith

Disturbed in our spirit, perhaps by the presence of the

Holy Spirit

Proclaim with one voice

Against injustice

Against suffering

Against things that would burn the bridges of being bonded

From the presence of God

Outside our church doors

Beyond the church walls.

Isn’t that why we find ourselves

Standing with signs

Standing with others

Standing in front of those who impact our laws

Who impact how we live and love

On fire for some semblance of peace and serenity

In this world?

The Holy Spirit sets our souls on fire!

Our good friend Luther even experiences this

The Holy Spirit turning his world upside down

Sending him out

Vigorously, shamelessly sharing

That the Gospel was more life affirming

Than condemning his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ

Yet Luther’s view was that the Holy Spirit had its proper place

Deep in his theological corpus, the Holy Spirit is clothed within the preached Word

And the Sacraments

The Holy Spirit fulfills the Law

Luther said this of the Holy Spirit “as God in God’s divine nature and essence from the Holy Spirit as God has given to us.”

The Holy Spirit is a sacred gift that we find among the community of believers

And it is because of the Holy Spirit

We, as children of God find ourselves not able to contain our joy

When enflamed by the power of the Holy Spirit

We are moved to shout and share

What the Good News of Jesus Christ means for all of us.

The Holy Spirit invades our spaces

Meeting us along the journey, barefoot

Raising Her Voice to infuse and empower us

Wherever we are called to go.

(pause)

Pentecost fills our imaginations

And suddenly there came a sound

Like the rush of a violent wind,”

As if it was this massive

Overwhelming

Intensive

Presence

As if the Holy Spirit physically filled the room

Think of it as immense

As immense as a familiar dragon named Smaug

(pause)

And the cacophony chaos that followed, of sounds

And instead of a suffocating heat

That bends and wilts us to nothingness

The Holy Spirit descending as a phoenix

Blessing those gathered

In our Acts text this morning

With sacredness of restorative and reviving power

Their collective breath in that place must have been stifled

Exhaling a surprising joy like no other

It had to be like (pause, tap tambourine and sing) fire

Shut up in their bones..

Like Jerimiah

Won’t leave them alone

(pause)

This gospel song from my childhood sums up

How the Spirit gripped each and every person present

To where the Spirit wouldn’t let any of them sit down

And what was said in that moment?

Did they hear the risen Christ echoing in each other’s tongue saying “Receive the Holy Spirit”

Or perhaps they echoed words that reside and are repeated

in the Psalms:

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

“Praise the Lord

(pause, pick up tambourine and tap lightly, singing)

I’m gonna sing to the Al – mighty power comes around
Spirits got me so I can’t sit down.”

What Liberation in those words!

These brothers and sisters in Faith

Who followed the risen Christ

Who struggled with who Jesus Christ was and is

Who were witnesses to what Christ had done

Who had been touched by what Christ spoke

Were liberated in that moment

To become Transformative Witnesses

Having the strength and the freedom

To spread the Good News of Jesus Christ

Throughout the World.

(pause)

Sadly there are too many moments

When brothers and sisters in Christ

Not only do not see the reflection of our Savior

In one another

But also cannot hear the Good News proclaimed richly

In so many transformative ways

And so sometimes we as people of faith are fearful

Fearful when the Holy Spirit makes Her presence

Because that means She comes to disturb our sedentary nature

Shaking us awake to what the Creator God has called us to do

Awakening the fire

Shut up in our bones

And that is the Good News

That is what Peter shared with those ancient people in that moment

In those days, I will pour out my Spirit and they shall prophesy.”

Prophesy

Evangelize

Why are we as people of faith to acknowledge

That this is what we are called to do

As people of Faith?

How blessed we are that God, Our Creator

Continues to connect with us

Through the Holy Spirit

Prophesy and evangelize doesn’t mean

That we are attempting to put our limited

Man made wisdom

On God’s Word

Prophesy means that we are sharing the Good News

Of Jesus Christ

And that Good News of Jesus Christ for us today is

He did not leave us to abandon us

The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus Christ

As an affirmation of who He was to us

To the Entire Creation

And so

The Holy Spirit descends to LIBERATE US

Because we are called people of God

Jesus says Himself “Peace be with you.

As the Father has sent me

So I send you.”

The Holy Spirit descends to TRANSFORM US

Because we are called to prophesy-

Prophesy as witnesses of the chaos and mischievousness

The Holy Spirit creates-

  • Pope Francis reaching across the paths that have divided us, meeting and praying with both Israeli and Palestinian spiritual leaders
  •  Ecumenical leaders and Bishops here boldly calling upon the political leaders for basic human and civil rights for all
  • Communities gathering in sacred spaces, boldly lift their voices and their feet in praise and in prayer for those who are suffering from lack of housing, lack of water, lack of education

And the rest of the world watches, confused

Because the people of God are riled up!

Throwing Spiritual Tantrums

Being public with our witness, with our joy, with our prophesying

Our sharing the Good News is something no longer hidden

Whispered

Or to be ashamed of

The Holy Spirit, She is not Proper at all!

She is the FIRE

Shut up in our bones

Won’t leave us alone.

Thanks Be to God.

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