“…God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” —Romans 5:5b 

Last Sunday we celebrated Pentecost: the point in time which Christianity refers to as the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. We are followers of Jesus. But the Holy Spirit descending on us? The arrival of the spirit in the New Testament was vividly described with violent wind, fire and multiple languages. It’s very possible that does not describe any personal experience we’ve ever had!

Our lack of understanding or perception of the Spirit is not from lack of a multi-sensory experience, however. It more likely is from a lack of attention. Have you ever been prompted by a “still, small voice”, not your own, to reach out to someone? Have you been on the receiving end of another’s patience or kindness which you may not have deserved? Have you been able to exhibit self-control in a tense situation that helped to resolve it? Have you witnessed quiet acts of justice in an unjust society? These are the work of the same Holy Spirit which descended in flames and wind. It is in the same Spirit by which we can live and move and have our very being.

What do you need to do to cultivate an active attentiveness to the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? How can new understanding and perception bring others to an awareness of the Holy Spirit in their lives? In the greater Church? In the world?

God, move in us to see, hear and respond to your Holy Spirit’s presence. Increase our attentiveness so that we can consciously and confidently reflect the living spirit within us as we do Christ’s work in the world.