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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So Moses went out and told the people the Lord’s words. He assembled seventy men from the people’s elders and placed them around the tent. The Lord descended in a cloud, spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and placed it on the seventy elders. When the spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but only this once. Two men had remained in the camp, one named Eldad and the second named Medad, and the spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they hadn’t gone out to the tent, so they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

Joshua, Nun’s son and Moses’ assistant since his youth, responded, “My master Moses, stop them!”

Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? If only all the Lord’s people were prophets with the Lord placing his spirit on them!”

Numbers 11:24-29

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The most difficult challenge in my journey of faith is leadership. There are days, much like today, when I am emotionally and spiritually drained by many things that come with leadership — transition, worry, fear, relationships, finances, and depression.

As I reflect on today’s reading in Numbers, I realize that Moses and I have much in common, both trying to carry the burden of leadership in our own power. While the passage speaks a hint of jealousy and competition (with Joshua), the passage also reveals the formula to Spirit-led leadership.

Theologian Carole A. Crumley refers to “the wildness in God’s Spirit” in this passage; it’s the Spirit that anoints communities and individuals for the work of the Kingdom. In spite of Joshua’s protest, Moses rejoiced in the fact that God’s Spirit rested not only on the called in the tent, but on the available two in the camp.

Like Moses, I am reminded to find my spiritual strength in the power of God’s Spirit, and to rely on the Spirit’s constant presence and willingness to lead me.

Tom Baynham

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God of Moses and Joshua, remind me that I do not need to carry my burdens alone. In this time of Pentecost, guide me in relying on the Spirit’s availability and guidance. Amen.

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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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