“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
This Sunday, our church will be celebrating Pentecost, the day in which we celebrate how the Holy Spirit came upon and filled Jesus’ first disciples after Christ’s return to heaven. This holy day also allows us to reaffirm the full divinity of the Holy Spirit, a reaffirmation that many of our churches need to make. Because as I’ve learned from personal experience, the Holy Spirit is often tragically neglected in our theology and our Christian lives.
Roughly five years ago, I was leading an adult bible study with a few women in one of the churches I was pastoring. We were going through one of Paul’s letters in the New Testament, and we came across a section of scripture where Paul mentions the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, one of the women in the group looked at me and asked:
“Pastor Chris, what’s the Holy Spirit?”
After a moment of silence, all of the other participants slowly began to share their own questions about the Holy Spirit. They all confided that they never once had heard a single message, teaching, or sermon about the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, I’ve pastored enough churches since then to know that these ladies aren’t alone in their confusion. Because simply put, we don’t do a good job of talking about the Holy Spirit.
So, given this confusion and ambiguity, we must ask this vital question:
What does the bible tell us about the Holy Spirit?
While you could write an entire book about that question (which others have certainly done), here are the points that I think are of utmost importance.
1. The Holy Spirit is fully divine and deserving of all worship, praise, and glory in the same way the Father and Son are. In other words, the Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity and is co-equal with the Father and Son.
2. The Holy Spirit is a “who” and not a “what.” The Holy Spirit is not some kind of impersonal force but a personal being who is active and at work in the world, the church, and in our lives as followers of Jesus.
3. The Holy Spirit has been sent and given to us to help us with our faith and discipleship journey. The Holy Spirit does this by helping us experience God’s love (Romans 5:5), leading and guiding us to truth (John 16:13), giving us spiritual gifts we can use to minister to others ( 1st Corinthians 12:1-11), empowering us to live changed lives (Galatians 5:22-26), and helping us point others to Jesus through our words and actions (Luke 24:48-49).
4. In our lives of discipleship and as the church, we are to look to and rely on the Holy Spirit to give us the strength, power, and wisdom we need to follow Jesus.
International Cuisine Night:
International Cuisine Night is already this Saturday! Join us for a wonderful night of delicious food, good fellowship, and an opportunity to celebrate our church’s diversity!
The event will be held in Fellowship Hall from 5-7. Feel free to invite friends and family! There will also be a free-will donation that will be designated for providing relief for Ukrainian refugees (if writing a check, you can make it out to “Flemington UMC” and put “Ukraine Relief” in the memo section. We will then send it out that money to World Vision’s Ukraine Reflied Fund).
If you signed up to prepare a dish representing a country, please be sure to make enough for about 50 sample servings and be at Fellowship Hall ready to serve by 4:30 at the latest. If you require an outlet for a crockpot or hot tray, please let Beth LaPenta know immediately if you have not already.
June 12th Reception of New Members:
On Sunday, June 12th, we will be having a handful of new members officially join our church. So join us on this exciting day as our church family expands to make room for some amazing people. After service, we will have a reception with food and light refreshments to welcome our siblings in Christ to our church family.
Summer Break: Sunday School & Music Ministries
This is just a reminder that after June 19th, our children’s Sunday School and various music ministries will be starting their summer hiatus. Thank you to everyone who has participated and led in these special ministries at our church.