Pause

The Holy Spirit is ever present.

The Spirit walks on either side of us, supports us from behind, lightens our load underneath, and blazes the journey ahead.

This week, remember the presence of God’s Spirit as we celebrate Pentecost — the birthday of the Church.

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Listen

When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

Acts 2:1-4

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Think

God is planning a party that has been in the planning since the beginning of time. It began with the moving of God’s creative Spirit in Genesis 1 and continued with God’s life-giving breath in Genesis 2.

Bishop Will Willimon describes Pentecost as an irruption, a bursting in, or an invasion of the Spirit. This invasion sounds like a violent wind, yet only the sound enters the house. The irruption continues as “tongues of fire” fall upon those in the house, enabling them to speak in different languages.

During the next three days, you and I will walk through the experience of Pentecost together in Acts. God’s Spirit has placed the community of faith at the center of the party in Acts, and God is the one bringing them together. The faith community included those in poverty and those afflicted by divisions of race and intolerance.

God has gifted the Church with freedom of speech and proclamation through different languages. God has endowed you and me with God’s Spirit to carry out the tasks to which we are called. That's a reason to celebrate!

Tom Baynham

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Pray

Come Holy Spirit, infuse us, refresh us, renew us, and empower us with your power and presence. Amen.

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Go

Holy Spirit, living breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.

Give me passion for your purity;
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

from “Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God” by Getty and Townend, 2005

Tom Baynham

Tom Baynham is a native of Richmond, Virginia, a graduate of the Boston University School of Theology and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Tom currently serves as Minister of Music at Ginter Park Baptist Church in Richmond. When he is not singing or directing, Tom enjoys reading political novels and watching baseball and the Dallas Cowboys. Tom is the proud father of two adult children: his son Daniel, a social sports coordinator, and his daughter Lindsey, an ordained Elder in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Walking Toward Morning: Turn Your Eyes

Ken Medema

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