How old were you when you held your breath to prove a point?
I remember doing that with my parents. Once.
With a dramatic and huge inhale, I was gonna show them. They glanced at each other and I saw some look pass between them but I didn’t understand what it was. All I knew was that holidng my breath wasn’t working out the way it did in cartoons.
That explosion was my breath as I exhaled.
I began breathing normally.
They went back to what they’d been doing.
If I recall correctly, at least one of them was trying not to laugh.
God has made us our physical bodies “fearfully and wonderfully” says Psalm 139, and part of that includes the necessity of both inhaling and exhaling.
The same is true for us spiritually. We are supposed to inhale and exhale God’s Holy Spirit. Many Christians are great at inhaling the breath of God but horrible at exhaling.
Don’t hold the Spirit, the breath, the wind, of God — exhale!
What might that look like for you today?
Even when tornadoes bring havoc and death, words still mean something.
Yesterday in this space I asked if we should call this after-Easter-time by the name Pentecost Season or Ordinary Time; our United Methodist way of doing things allows for either one.
Thank you for contacting me in the variety of ways you did with your answers and commentary. (And thank you, Janet, for being brave enough to post yours.)
It seems many of us like the idea of combing the concepts behind the two words Pentecost and Ordinary.
As if Pentecost is Ordinary.
As if it’s Ordinary to be Pentecostal in the fullest sense of those words.
As if Christians being empowered by God’s Holy Spirit is as normal and necessary in daily life as breathing.
Right now in Oklahoma and worldwide, some of God’s Ordinary people are at work putting Pentecost power into making a difference.
You and I can help, too — check out options at www.UMCOR.com.
It’s normal and necessary for us to do so as Ordinary Pentecostal followers of Jesus.
It’s like breathing.
The Season After Pentecost, also called Ordinary Time,
begins the day after Pentecost
and ends the day before The First Sunday of Advent.
— page 409 in The United Methodist Book of Worship
Wait. Did you read that sentence from page 409?
This Season of The Gospel is a long time.
This year it starts today and runs like a marathon until November 30, which is the Saturday of Thanksgiving Weekend.
That’s like half the calendar year.
Pentecost Season or Ordinary Time…what say ye?
I’d love to hear from you about this, and I’ll see you back here soon.
The Day of Pentecost is the fiftieth and last day of the Easter Season,
when the Church received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2).
—page 403 in The United Methodist Book of Worship
Jesus is the host at your birthday party.
He promised, “I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” (Luke 24:29, NIV)
Acts 2 has details of what happened fifty days after The Resurrection on that Day of Pentecost.
Pentecost is often called The Birthday of The Church.
What could be a better birthday gift that “power from heaven,” and what better reason to gather with other followers of Jesus to celebrate?
You are coming to your own birthday party, right?
As I end my church newsletter columns: See you in worship if not before!
“I came to give life with joy and abundance,” Jesus says.
We’ve looked at several different versions of that same line from John 10:10 this week. Today’s comes from a translation of the Bible called The Voice.
Most people you’re meeting this week aren’t reading the Bible. They’re not comparing and contrasting the spin that various translation teams have decided is best to give these ancient words.
But they know you.
Old-time traveling evangelists like to tell Christians, “You’re the only Bible some people will ever read.”
May our lives today more adequately illustrate Christ’s promise that he came to give life with joy and abundance.
What might the joy and abundance of Christ look like today in your life?
Zombie Christians aren’t God’s idea.
Jesus tells us that he “came to bring them life, and far more life than before.” (John 10:10, J.B. Phillips version)
Not just a hint of life.
Not just a kind-of life.
Jesus brings “life, and far more life than before.”
Zombie Christians aren’t God’s idea at all.
“Since Jesus came into my heart, there’s so much that I used to enjoy that I’ve stopped doing,” he said as he witnessed to me.
I asked, “So what do you enjoy now?”
The silence was painful.
Jesus had a better idea when he said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10, NKJV)
Jesus still has that same better idea.