WIND,FIRE,NOISE….silence

The Holy Spirit

Is dismantling

The norm

Disrupting

The silence

everywhere,

And

She

The Holy Spirit,

Refuses

To Stop

(pause)

She

Has grabbed the attention

Of people of Faith

Of people of God

Of people in this world

Shaking us awake

Because,

Unfortunately

We’ve been far too removed

From what the Risen Christ

Left for us

(pause)

We’ve somehow forgotten

That Loving one another

Making disciples

Building community

Sharing our story

Is not

A one day,

One hour a week

Task.

(pause)

The Holy Spirit is intruding

And downright rude

Invading our personal space

And without Her,

Ministry,

Left up to our own devices

Would not happen.

(pause)

Without Her,

Caring for the marginalized

The impoverished

The forgotten

That work,

Would go undone.

(pause)

Without Her,

Our voices

To cry out for the hurting

To demand peace and mercy for the fallen

To plead for grace and love for the offender

Would be non-existent

(pause)

Can you remember

An experience

When the Holy Spirit

Made you feel uneasy,

Bothersome,

Stoked those fires that dwell within all of us

Fire shut up in our bones

Until we were agitated

To do,

To say

Something!

(pause)

The other day, as I was coming back into the city

We passed the same group of homeless people

Right off of the Dan Ryan expressway

Sometimes,

I do the right thing,

I dig into my pocket

I have NO clue what they will do with the money,

But that’s none of my business

Other days, (pause)

I confess I am a jerk

I pass right by them

I act like they don’t exist

I am stuck in my own worries,

Concerns

But yesterday, when we came to the stop light,

And I listened to the Holy Spirit

Because she nags

(pause)

And my husband pointed to the bag of donuts we had

We hadn’t touched

Still fresh,

And my husband asked him if he’d like a donut

And there was a brief conversation

Where we shared a laugh with him

And the Holy Spirit shook me

“NOW, do you understand?”

That conversation,

She is NOT going to let that subside

And so what else can I do?

And how can I be more intentional

(pause)

What is your perception

Of the Holy Spirit?

This image of this Advocate,

But the Advocate,

The Holy Spirit

Will teach you these things

And will remind you..”

(pause)

Is this Advocate that Jesus speaks of,

Just an advocate for us alone?

That when we fail,

When we sin

When we don’t do what we are called to do,

Because we are stubborn

Or hard-headed

Is this an Advocate so that we stay on God’s good side?

(pause)

This vision in Acts-

So often we see the depiction

Of people gathered in a room,

With little flames over their heads

Surprised that for once

Captured by the power of the Holy Spirit

They had to be attentive to one another

They were witnesses to hearing clearly,

In different ways of expressing

The Goodness of God’s Love

Through diverse tongues

Probably shocking,

Because before,

Because we, as humanity

Cling to misconceptions

Wrong, unclear information

Instead of realizing,

That the commandment of Jesus Christ

Of loving one another,

As the Creator loves us

Echoes

From every corner-

(pause)

“Hurt not others

with that which pains yourself.”

(pause)

“One should always treat others

as they themselves wish to be treated”

(pause)

“None of you has faith

until he loves for his brother

or his neighbor what he loves for himself.”

(pause)

“Respect for all life is the foundation.”

(pause)

“What is hateful to you,

do not to your fellow man.

This is the law: all the rest is commentary.”

(pause)

Sometimes,

Just as those gathered in that room

In Acts this morning,

We as people of faith gather on the inside

Hiding behind walls and windows

Worrying about why,

People on the outside,

Pass By

Worrying if,

If this place,

Our community

Our faith,

Will survive

Will there a future

Where our children

Can experience the same love

That we have

Here.

(pause)

We worry about if we are keeping up traditions

Worrying about economics

Worry about whether five years from now,

There will be a Redeemer

Worried about when Jesus will come

Worried about when Jesus will come and fix everything.

(pause)

And Suddenly,

THERE IS WIND

FIRE

NOISE

SILENCE

(pause)

Suddenly,

They can’t breathe

They’re souls are enflamed

They all cry out MERCY

In so many beautiful sounds

And suddenly,

They can’t contain themselves

AND THEY RUN OUT

PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS!! (pause)

Because SHE,

The Holy Spirit

UNLEASHES HERSELF

PUSHING THEM OFF THAT COMFORTABLE CLIFF

Into the unknown

OUT into those places

Where all they can do,

Is Testify

To Care

To Teach

To Preach

To SERVE

TO LOVE

(pause)

So,

The bad news is,

Jesus

Nor the Holy Spirit

Comes to fix anything,

So we can be comfortable

And mute

And individualized

(pause)

The Good News is,

Jesus loves us,

And send to us

The Holy Spirit

Who causes a whole nother problem

The Holy Spirit comes

To agitate us deep within

That strength,

That courage,

That compassion

So that we can’t help

BUT DO

BUT SHARE OUR TESTIMONY

Because whether we realize or not

THAT,

Our faith,

Can save a life,

Can inspire someone

Can give someone a sense of HOPE!

How is God AGITATING YOU

To be a witness?

To teach others about the Goodness of God

To be actively in getting immersed in the work we are called to do?

Do you realize,

When Gail shares her love of faith,

And love of this place

With the people she volunteers in the little thrift store

THAT,

That is the Holy Spirit in action

(pause)

When Don has absolutely no problem

Greeting and goading folks into joining Redeemer

Because of his DEEP love for this place,

And his faith-

THAT

That, is the Holy Spirit at work.

When I go,

Make a nuisance of myself

Telling folks about the wonderful people of Redeemer

How the Holy Spirit dwells here

And how we will roll up our sleeves,

We will do

THAT,

That is the Holy Spirit!

(pause)

Thanks Be to God

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