This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday — the worship service in which we remember the day of Pentecost, when the early apostles experienced the Holy Spirit in a particularly powerful way. You’ll find that key story of our faith in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.
This Sunday is also the beginning of our Summer Worship series, Life in the Spirit.
What do the two of these have in common?
There are a lot of things about the Pentecost story that makes it the perfect beginning for a worship series that focuses on the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Following Pentecost, we’ll begin to explore more deeply how the Holy Spirit can work in our lives, and then, in the coming weeks we will examine how the fruit of this work can appear in our lives in the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
What does it mean to be “guided by the Spirit?” What does that look like? How do we recognize this guidance when it comes?
Turning our focus for a moment to our scripture reading for this week from the 8th chapter of Romans, we remember — and feel the assurance — that we are all children of God. The focus is verse 17: “But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ . . .”
When we understand that we are “fellow heirs with Christ,” we realize that we share something with Christ. We are heirs to the presence of God, always with us, and call of God on our lives. With Christ we are heirs to the riches of God’s grace. These are the promises of our inheritance as children of God.
This Sunday I want us to think together about this inheritance. When you read this passage, what comes to mind?
For me, what always comes to mind is the whole imagery of inheritance. Not as a literal, legal bequest, but more as the way we inherit traits, stories, and characteristics from our parents. You know what I mean — those family sayings, ways of expressing certain things, turns of phrase you grow up with and don’t realize everyone else didn’t.
The main thing we didn’t inherit is the spirit of fear — or the spirit of slavery that leads back to fear. Because of this inheritance we share with Christ, we’re not people motivated by fear; we’re not living in fear. Rather, we live with confidence in the love and grace of God that is our inheritance we share with Christ as Children of God.
So, with all of that in mind, what does it meant to accept an inheritance? What does that look like? What responsibility goes along with this inheritance? How does the Holy Spirit play into all of that?
I look forward to exploring these questions with you this Sunday in the Sanctuary.
Grace and Peace,
Romans 8:14-17 Common English Bible (CEB)
All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters. You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children. But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him.