We are so very blessed again today to have such an awesome post by Pastor Rick Frederickson! Thank you Pastor! God Bless you and Sue!

Imagine yourself in the shoes of John, one of the Apostles. You had just gone through the most incredible, tumultuous, frightening, saddening, amazing and joyful time of your life. Jesus, your teacher and friend, God’s son, the Messiah, the Christ, had been taken away from you, beaten, mocked and crucified. Hung on a cross and sacrificed for your sins and the sins of the world.

Jesus, your teacher and friend, who after three days in a cold tomb, was raised from the dead in victory over death.  The Son of God overcame the grave to fulfill all he said, to fulfill what the prophecies foretold. Jesus, who appeared to you and showed you the holes in his hands, feet and sides.

And then He tells you He is going away. Returning to His father.

It was a difficult thing for the Apostles to hear. After all that has happened, Jesus was not going to remain with them and build an earthly kingdom, which is what they had expected. No, Jesus was leaving them to join His father in the heavenly kingdom. 

Then Jesus tells them in John 15:26-27 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”

Jesus tells his apostles something very important in these two verses. He says that this Helper, the Spirit of Truth, is from His father, our God. Jesus gives full authority to the Holy Spirit who “I will send to you from the Father; who proceeds from the Father, and he will bear witness about me.”

Later, at Jesus’ Ascension, he tells them: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

So what does this coming of the Holy Spirit mean to us? What does it mean for us, so many miles, and so many centuries removed from that first day of Pentecost? What does this power mean for us when we are filled with The Holy Spirit.

Power can be used in two ways. It can be unleashed as it was on that first day of Pentecost; or it can be harnessed. The energy in tank of gas can be released explosively by dropping a lighted match into the can. Or it can be channeled through the engine of a Chevy in a controlled burn and used to transport a person 350 miles. Explosions are spectacular, but controlled burns have lasting effect and staying power.

The Holy Spirit works both ways. At Pentecost, the Spirit exploded onto the scene; His presence was like “tongues of fire”. Thousands were affected by one burst of God’s power.

But the Spirit also works through the church – the institution God chose to tap into the Holy Spirit’s power for the long haul. Through worship, fellowship, and service, Christians are provided with staying power. And the Holy Spirit’s power works in each one of us the same way.

The Holy Spirit is for everyone who follows Jesus. It is not just for a select few. God’s spirit is no longer given only to special persons who were called to carry out special tasks. Instead, it is now poured out on all flesh.  Everyone who believes in Jesus has received God’s spirit and is empowered to do God’s work.

The power of the Spirit is the Power of the resurrection. It is the power of new birth and promise, it is the power of change.

Without the Holy Spirit we have no life in us, with the Holy Spirit we have life in Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit we become closed in, but with the Holy Spirit we reach out to others. Without the Holy Spirit we return to fear and anxiety, but with the Holy Spirit we leave fear and anxiety behind and witness to the ends of the earth. This is the Power of the Spirit the Apostles received. And this is the Power of the Spirit within us. This is the Power of God within us.

Rick Frederickson, Pastor

Springfield United Methodist Church
Springfield, MN
507-723-6698 (Church)

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