Friday Followings: Normandy, Pentecost, and the Love of God

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
I’ve been inspired watching the news these past days as the stories of many World War 2 veterans are told. As you know, yesterday, June 6, marked the 75th anniversary of the Allied Forces storming the beaches of Normandy, France. The battle of Normandy lasted for weeks, ending in the liberation of Paris from Nazi control, and was a decisive turning point in ending World War 2. I heard a recording yesterday of then President Eisenhower leading the nation in prayer 75 years ago. It was moving, emotional, and addressed to God.
 
Normandy is truly one of those events that has changed the course of history. Let’s all give thanks to the veterans whose stories we hear, and to the many who lost their lives for this worthy and epic cause.
 
This weekend in worship we celebrate another event that has changed the course of history:  Pentecost. Jesus lives, dies, and is raised to new life. He spends forty days on earth following his resurrection and appears to many, many people. After forty days, he ascends into heaven and tells his disciples to wait until his Holy Spirit comes to them. Some days later, or fifty days after the Passover, Jesus’ Spirit is set loose in full force.
 
As recorded in the book of Acts, the good news of the gospel begins to spread like wildfire “to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
 
You and I are recipients of the great gift of the Holy Spirit. As I said in last week’s sermon, you are I are now witnesses to the love and action of Jesus Christ. The Spirit is alive and active in our world and in our lives, giving us the gift of faith, assuring us of forgiveness, and empowering us on our journeys of life to be the body of Christ on earth today.
 
I invite you to read Acts chapter 2 in preparation for this weekend’s celebration of Pentecost. The color of the day is red, so wear red if you’d like. There is nothing more important, more life-changing, and more history altering, than being claimed, called, and sent by God’s Holy Spirit. I’ve said many times, pray each day for God’s Holy Spirit to fill you and use you.
 
Like those who gave of themselves for such a noble cause 75 years ago at Normandy, so too your life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, can be and is being used by God for the noble cause of the gospel. God loves you. God loves this world. You are a witness to that love. And God’s love changes history. Thanks for your role in such a worthy and epic cause of changing the world for good.
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim