Breathe upon us, Holy Spirit, and be Tongues of Fire, again, upon us;
Renew us to the service of Christ by the anointing of Divine Energy,
That we might manifest the bright Glory of the Son
And bring honor through Him to our eternal Father.
Quote for Pentecost
In the early church, one of the most powerful images used for the Trinity was the image of the dance of mutual indwelling. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in an eternal, joyful, vibrant dance of love and honor, rhythm and harmony, grace and beauty, giving and receiving. The universe was created to be an expression and extension of the dance of God…. But we humans broke the dance. We stomped on the toes of other dancers, ignored the rhythm, rejected the grace, and generally made a mess of things. But God sent Jesus into the world to model for us a way of living in the rhythm of God’s music of love, and ever since, people have been attracted to the beauty of his steps and have begun rejoining the dance.
God is creating a barrier-breaking tribe that welcomes, appreciates, and links all others. This inclusive tribe isn’t an in-group that makes other tribes into out-groups; rather, it’s a ‘come on in’ group that seeks to help all tribes maintain their unique identity and heritage while being invited into a tribe of tribes who live together in mutual respect, harmony, and love—…
(Brian D. McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus)
Story and Comments
The young disciple was struggling with his emotions, moving from tranquility to agitation, and he could not, therefore, sit and listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to his heart. One day his Teacher took him across and back over the water of the lake. On the way they both admired the fish deep down in the depths. Later that week and on a windy day, the Teacher again took the young disciple onto the water of the lake. This time, however, the Teacher stopped in the middle of the lake. He said to the young man, “Son, recall that just a few days ago you and I enjoyed watching the fish swim in the depths. Notice, now, that due to the wind we cannot see those depths because of the disturbance of the surface of the lake. So it is with your mind, when it is agitated the mind blocks the seeing of the depths of spiritual discernment and the graces God is blessing you with. But, when the mind is free from agitation, you can experience the depths of the Voice within and rejoice in the graces that adorn your heart from the love of God.”
Especially during times of spiritual conflict, whether within ourselves or with other persons, or both, we are tempted to lose our being centered in the Divine One. Diadochus of Photice (5th Century), Bishop of Photice, says, “Those who are engaged in spiritual warfare must always keep their hearts tranquil. Only then can the mind sift the impulses it receives and store in the treasure-house of memory those that are good and come from God, while rejecting altogether those that are perverse and devilish.” Bishop Diadochus links the Holy Spirit to the calming of the waters of conflict, so we can discern what is of God and not of God: “… when the soul receives the anointing of the gift of the Holy Spirit, it gladly gives in to … inexpressible and untroubled sweetness. And even if it is continually attacked by temptations it maintains its peace and joy.” (Spiritual Works)
Through the Holy Spirit we can go through difficult times and still enjoy the depths of enjoyment of the Presence and Word of the Triune God. In such times we are buoyed up, rather than buoying ourselves up. We will be amazed, if we were prepared by living in intimacy with God, how amazing is the sustaining Presence that allows us to be touched by the depths of love, joy, and peace in times of struggle with other persons or our own selves. And, to keep in living contact with the Holy Spirit in such times, we have to return to prayer and meditation, as well as spiritual reading, and often. If we do, we will enjoy the renewal of the Holy Spirit upon our total selves, and the ragged edges of agitation will receive the solace and healing of the oil of Grace.
Recall a time when you especially felt sustained by the Holy Spirit during a time of spiritual struggle? What was that like?
Write your own prayer to the Holy Spirit, and pray it this Pentecost Day.
Consider, if you are not already, sponsoring a child through Compassion International. You can find out more about Compassion International by going to www.compassion.net to read about sponsoring, in the name of Jesus, children living in poverty. Thanks! Brian K. Wilcox
To contact Brian, write firstname.lastname@example.org .