What evidence is there that you are filled with the Spirit?
Take a quick look around you. It’s Pentecost or at least our celebration of it.
Anyone nearby on fire? Tongues of flame dancing around on their heads?
You see any doves descending on them?
Are they talking in a language you don’t understand? And I don’t mean pig-Latin.
Here’s the thing. It’s not often like that for those of us who inhabit these pews.
We don’t often see those miraculous signs of the Spirit’s presence in folks we know. And don’t get all defensive or all judge-y. God does all kinds of miracles without a lot of flash.
Yes, there are churches and denominations who seem to have those experiences, often on a regular basis. But Plain Jane Presbyterians don’t seem to, at least not very often.
Instead, the signs of the Spirit’s presence is more subtle.
What we see much more often is people moved to do something that really stretches their faith. They make a leap of faith encouraged by the Spirit!
Like, they decide to join a church!
Or they volunteer to help at the food pantry, or sign up to teach in the Empower children’s program, or they take the youth group on a hike or bowling or to help at a 5K fun run/walk.
Or, and this is just crazy; they join a bible study! Or watch The Chosen!
You do understand that the motivation to do any of those completely crazy things is all the work of the Holy Spirit in you; the Holy Spirit inviting you to step out of your comfort zone and into a new, dynamic relationship, that pushes you to rely on God’s help a lot more.
Something that forces you to pray. Something that gets you thinking about how amazing it is that God’s got you. Something that that brings really powerful joy to your life. Beating a teenager at bowling will do that! Hallelujah and amen!
Just the decision to join the church, or for that matter bringing a child for baptism, is an act of radical faith that is always motivated by the Spirit’s presence!
So, sure, the whole original Pentecost thing is cool.
Sitting together in the upper room fifty days after the resurrection and ten days after the ascension, had to be a really crazy experience.
“Hey Peter, when do you think somethings going to happen?”
Jesus had told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Spirit. But when the Spirit finally arrived, it was totally overwhelming!
Think about it: a rushing wind, flames all round, and then they were propelled into the streets where thousands of Jewish pilgrims were gathered, and they began to tell the whole story of Jesus.
People from all over the Roman Empire who spoke all kinds of different native languages heard the story in their language. That’s nuts!
The Spirit present in all of it’s power and glory!
But for us, most of the time, the Spirit’s work is a bit quieter.
What we are experiencing is just as important.
The Spirit has come. The Spirit is here. The Spirit is in you!
What you are to do with and about that presence, that filling, is the question. Because wherever the Spirit is, there is God’s work to be done!
What are you to do about that? Because it is not to stay still!
It is always and forever to make a difference for the Kingdom of God.
Sharing the story of how your faith has given you hope, strength, courage, grace, love, joy, and a community where you can be fully who God has created you to be!
Caring for others who need God’s presence in their lives.
Being God’s help and hope in this world.
The Spirit is just as much here, as the Spirit was with those disciples!
So what evidence is there that you are filled with the Spirit?
You’re here! Now go and be God’s people in this world!