By Bethany Village Pastor Bob Ashburn.
A Bible passage in Acts 19 tells the story about several followers of Jesus who reported that they had not even heard about the Holy Spirit. In the passage, St. Paul reacted strongly to this news and immediately had a baptism in the name of Jesus, rather than the baptism of John which they had previously received. He then gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. Then they were able to experience the Holy Spirit.
So, in this month of Pentecost, which is May 15th, my question is “Do we know about the Holy Spirit today?” Certainly, the “Pentecostal” churches know about the work of the Holy Spirit, but many of us who are not a part of that tradition don’t have the same emphasis placed on the Third Member of the Trinity. In much of the rest of the Christian Church, the Holy Spirit is the silent partner and maybe it is that silence which brings about the lack of knowledge about the Holy Spirit.
As a pastor, I teach that the Holy Spirit is the one who calls us to be the followers of Jesus Christ, who gathers us into the communities of faith (sometimes official churches, sometimes not!), and who teaches us about God’s great love for us. Perhaps the Holy Spirit spends all that energy in calling, gathering, and teaching that the Spirit’s own publicity doesn’t get out. So this Pentecost, think about how that unpublicized Holy Spirit has done so much to make sure you know all that you need to know about God.