Acts 2:2-4
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
How, when and where does God show up? Does it seem like God is only present in good times but absent in hard times? Is it only when we call on him desperately enough? Does he only show up for the ultra-pious? I have good news for you, my friends. The very essence of the Trinity is that God has already shown up and continues to show up, and he is here to stay!
Prior to Jesus’ death on the cross, the curtain in the temple separated regular people like you and me from the one True God. Upon Jesus’ sacrifice and the tearing of that curtain (Luke 23:45), there was no more separation. As scripture from the Gospel of John and the Book of Acts reveal, our loving Father sent the Holy Spirit to remain constantly within us (John 14:16), to be our great Helper and Teacher (John 14:26), to guide us in truth, care for us, reveal to us the path (John 16:13-16), and to empower us (Acts 2:4).
God shows up for us through the Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). These fruit – or outcroppings – of the Spirit are attributes that believers come to embody and that reflect the character of God: love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Through these gifts, we serve as the hands and feet of God. Jesus may not be walking the earth with us today, but God sent the Holy Spirit to help us embody his teachings and to be an instrument of healing, compassion, and love, all in his name.
The Fruit of the Spirit is clearly seen in the community of the faithful here at St. Luke’s. To name a few — meals when babies are born (love), pastoral visits for an ill loved one (peace), tender nurturing by Day School teachers (kindness), instruction in the Good News and moral ways of living by Sunday School teachers (goodness), Bible studies (faithfulness), the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit in worship (joy), and teachings on priorities for our lives (self-control).
Our true God is a God of promises kept. Be at peace knowing that one of the most sacred of promises is that the Holy Spirit will remain present and active in our lives. God shows up. Thanks be to God!
Closing Prayer:
Loving God, thank you for being with us through the ages. We are not wandering alone, with a detached creator on high. Your great Helper, the Holy Spirit, remains constantly with us. What a gift! Help us, oh Lord, open ourselves up to receive the Spirit, and let the fruit of the Spirit reflect your loving nature to the world around us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.