Rev. Drew Stockstill
Transfusion of the Holy Spirit
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Morning Psalm- Psalm 30: 10-12
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!”
11 You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
24 I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. 28 Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
The Bible starts with these words: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Before the beginning, “the earth was a formless void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” God created out of nothing and before God created, there was nothing. I find that a strangely comforting reminder, that God can work with what I have to offer, if God can bring both the earth and the heavens out of literally nothing. Just imagine then what wonders God does with what we have offer God.
It was only in the beginning that God created out of nothing. Ever since that first day, when God spoke the first word: “BECOME,” and all became, God has been creating out of something: humans out of dust, life out of darkness, the greatest hope from a single promise, freedom out of slavery, a savior from Nazareth, salvation from a cross and grave, dancing out of mourning, a new kingdom springing out of the old.
The prophet Ezekiel reminded God’s people in captivity, that God is very much at work, very active: taking them from their captors, gathering, bringing home, sprinkling with cleansing water, giving new hearts, and putting in new spirits. What is emerging now – out of a pandemic, out of economic despair, out of illness, out of our anxieties, our weariness, our fear – is being shaped by God’s same actions. God will save us from whatever binds us, God will bring us home, gather us from our scattered places, and give us what we need to thrive. And at times, God who knows us so intimately, who knows both the conditions of our lives and the conditions of our hearts, preforms a transplant, taking hearts that have been badly broken, hardened in the course of hard lives, and by God’s own healing hands, replacing hearts of stone with God hearts of flesh, though tender, yet beating, living, thriving. And further, in times when our own spirits seem unable to lift us, to carry us forward, exhausted from whatever it is we are going through, then, dearly beloved, God takes God’s very own Spirit and puts it in us – a transfusion of the Holy Spirit.
As we emerge, gathered and carried by God himself, into this next season of life, it will be having been made new, perhaps even with new parts, new hearts, new spirits, because God has been at work in us all along, because that’s what it looks like for God, a creator by nature, to keep his promise: “you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” And thanks be to God.
Let us Pray:
Satisfy us with your love in the morning,
and we will live this day in joy and praise.
Eternal God, we rejoice this morning in the gift of life, which we have received
by your grace, and the new life you give in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank
the love of our families . . .
the affection of our friends . . .
strength and abilities to serve your purpose today . . .
this community in which we live . . .
opportunities to give as we have received. . .
People of God, for what else do we give thanks? Add your own prayers of thanksgiving.
God of grace, we offer our prayers for the needs of others and commit ourselves
to serve them even as we have been served in Jesus Christ. Especially we pray for
those closest to us, families, friends, neighbors . . .
refugees and homeless men, women and children . . .
the outcast and persecuted . . .
those from whom we are estranged . . .
the church in Africa. . .
And for Dick Shepley and his family, the family of Ed Sherrick, Mary, Sharon and Tom Herrold, Duana, Brenda and Cliff, Bob, Rochelle, Karen and Steve, Barb and Butch, Sharron Blezard, Marcia, Rose, Phil and Alice, Stanley Hope, Jake, John, Julie, the nurses of our Medical Outreach Clinic and…
People of God, for what else do we pray? Add your own prayers.
your touch makes this world holy.
Open our eyes to see your hand at work
in the splendor of creation,
and in the beauty of human life.
Help us to cherish the gifts that surround us,
to share your blessings with our sisters and brothers,
and to experience the joy of life in your presence.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
God the Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.