Key verse from today's reading: Ephesians 1:14, "The Holy Spirit is the down payment on our inheritance, which is applied toward our redemption as God’s own people, resulting in the honor of God’s glory."
We may not have a very good grasp of the Holy Spirit or how it works in our lives. Most mainline denominations have ceded the Holy Spirit to the Pentecostals. In fact when we get a whiff of what we would call charismatic pastors, we tend to get a little nervous.
|Salem United Methodist Church, Drummond, OK|
Those who know me understand that I don't give over my Sunday mornings lightly. I also had no idea what kind of preacher he was or if his doctrine would be too far away from what United Methodism teaches. But I also didn't want to discourage him so I told him that we would arrange an evening worship service with the ministerial alliance and invite all of the youth groups from the three churches in town to attend.
This would fulfill his requirements and he seemed happy with the arrangement.
Before the service, I met with our youth to share about speaking in tongues. I'm not sure if any had ever seen it in person and most didn't know what I was talking about. I told them about this spiritual experience and that the preacher was likely to speak in tongues during the service tonight.
I also let them know that there would be an altar call and that if they felt led to pray there or to rededicate their lives to Christ that there was nothing wrong with that.
|The flame in our "cross|
and flame" represents
the Holy Spirit
After the service, I met with our youth again to debrief what they had experienced. I still remember Asia Kliewer saying, "I thought he showed his convictions in his beliefs in that he was able to share in this way to a congregation that obviously didn't get it. It was very brave."
The graceful acceptance of another's faithful witness - even though it was foreign to them - was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Our inheritance was present that day.
How do you perceive the working of the Holy Spirit in your life?
Breath Prayer: Holy Spirit, come.