From the Well - 3/1/2016

John 14:25-26 (NRSV)
25 "I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the giver of life,

Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

Who with the Father and the Son

Is worshiped and glorified,

Who has spoken through the prophets.

As people of God and followers of Jesus Christ, we believe in the Holy Spirit. We Baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Like many of you who will read this blog, I was baptized as an infant. My Baptism took place at Oak Ridge Methodist Church just north of Greensboro. I don’t recall much about the first years of my life as a preacher’s kid living in a parsonage next to the church. I remember receiving a Pedal car for Christmas when I was two years old. I had the Murry Speedway Pace Car restored several years ago.

I know that I was carried to church as an infant in my mother’s arms. I guess that was the beginning of the long dance with God’s chosen institution for facilitating His Kingdom work on earth. I know I can count on two hand the number of weeks in my 57 years that I have not been involved in the United Methodist Church. For two summers, I worked at our United Methodist Camp Tekoa. In college, I sang in the church choirs of Christ United Methodist and Grace United Methodist in Greensboro. Church, youth groups, choirs, camp, worship, mission work and service formed me into the person I am today. Church is part of my DNA. I’m not sure what kind of person I would be or what I would have ended up doing if it had not been for the church.

So what guided and spoke to me all those years? I can say with confidence that it was the work of the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit working directly with me at times and sometimes indirectly through others. There were times when I paid attention and there were times when I did not but the Spirit never abandoned me, thank goodness!

The Holy Spirit is God with us. It is God with us when we know it and when we can’t imagine it. God is always with us. When we feel it and when we can’t fathom it, God is with us. Psalm 139 says it best:

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

Think about it!

Matthew

Lenten Preaching Series: “We Believe: A sermon Series on the Nicene Creed”

2/14 – We Believe in God

2/21 – One Lord Jesus Christ

2/28 – Who for us . . . Became Human

3/6 – We Believe . . . in the Holy Spirit

3/13 – One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

3/20 – Chancel Choir Easter Music (8:30 & 11 am Traditional Services)

3/27 – He Ascended . . . And Will Come Again (Easter Sunday)

The following book and study guide are available in our Food for Thought book store: The Nicene Creed by Martha Porter and The Creed by Luke Timothy Johnson.