“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
As I write this article it is my hope that soon we will be able to resume some (if not all) of our ministry together in-person at the church. The events of the past few months have been out of our control as we practiced social distancing and avoided physical contact with one another. But let me ask you this… “Have we ever been in control?”
This past month the confirmation students have been studying the Apostles’ Creed via zoom and the Third Article clearly highlights that we are not in control. In his explanation of the Third Article, which talks about the Holy Spirit and the church, Martin Luther reminds us that it is not by our own ability that we believe, “but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one common, true faith.” Luther’s Small Catechism
As we prepare to return for in-person activities, let us remember that it is the Holy Spirit that calls us (and gathers us together) for ministry. And let us also remember that this powerful, uncontrollable, life changing Spirit blows where it wills, just as the wind does. The Holy Spirit is even known for shaking us loose from all those things in our ministry together that are stagnant and empowering us for the Great Commission which our Lord and Savior has given to us.
As I write this article, I am looking forward to the ministry God has in store for us. As the hymn sung at my ordination states, “Lord, you give the great commission: Heal the sick and preach the Word. Lest the Church neglect its mission, and the Gospel go
unheard, help us witness to your purpose with renewed integrity. With the Spirit’s gifts empow’r us for the work of ministry.”
As we anticipate our ministry together let us also remember this… “The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
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