What a delight today has been. Attended church at St. Luke's in Orlando. A large UMC with 5 services each Sunday. We attended a 11:00 traditional service. We had started out to a 9:30 contemporary service but got lost on the way. Thank goodness for garmin who corrected the error of our way. Doesn't that sound like the Holy Spirit on this sacred day of remembering God's goodness to humanity on Pentecost as he came as comforter, director, encourager, healer and transformer. Praise God all ye peoples....he is so good to us.
The worship we attended included liturgical dancer celebrating pentecost, a 40 voice choir, a marvelous men's vocal group and good preaching. It was good to sit with Patty in worship and feel God's gentle presence, but I missed the familiarity of Faith UMC. I hope your worship was blessed as was ours.
I can amen the psalmist of Psalm 47 who chants his praise, "clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High! He is awesome indeed. I can testify as we ate lunch at a Panera's in Orlando and watched a couple pray at their table, God is alive and doing marvelous things in the lives of those who love him and who seek to do his will. We may not be constantly aware of God's movements in and around us through the Holy Spirit, but he is at work, always seeking to save the lost and to sanctify we who have committed our lives to him. "Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise.
From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, God is on his throne on high watching his creation and loving us. But he does not simply watch from a distance, rather he has entered into the domain of our creation and set before us a most marvelous example of righteousness in the one that we call Jesus. This same one became the perfect lamb that was sacrificed for our salvation and has conquered death for us. He now sits at the right hand of the father and has sent us this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit to live within us who even now encourages us in acts of spiritual holiness and urges us to holiness of heart and life.
It is this Holy Spirit that convicts us of our sin and urges us to receive the benefit of Christ's death upon the cross which was for the forgiveness of our sins. Come even now Holy Spirit, "have mercy one me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions." I know the blackness of my own heart and only a God of such great mercy can cleanse me in the way necessary to allow me to be judged righteous. Is there need for any greater proof than this? I think not.....God is good all the time!
Praying for you today, asking God to bless you out of the abundance of his great love and giving you the powerful and awesome gift of his precious Holy Spirit. May we be a Pentecost people bringing light, life and hope to a broken world.