Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Acts 2:17-21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
The words of our reading today from the second chapter of Acts are the words of the prophet Joel. Simon Peter quotes them in an explanation of what is happening on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples. That day is often called the “birthday” of the church. The guidance, comfort, and power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of followers of Jesus was evident to the people gathered in Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost. It continued to be evident in the early church as people saw how they loved and how they served and how they shared the abundance of grace and love that they had first received.
The apostle Paul would later write about the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who were followers of Jesus. He would write of the gifts of the Spirit—abilities, talents, and ways of being that blessed all those who received the ministries of the early Church. He would write to the Galatians about the difference the Holy Spirit makes in a person’s life when they “walk in the Spirit.” He said that the life of that person would bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I invite you today to think about each of those aspects of the fruit of the Spirit and the need for that life-giving fruit in our world today. Rather than a list of things to do, perhaps this description of the fruit of the Spirit is a way to think more deeply about our own lives and to what extent our lives really bear that fruit.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster