Pentecost Sunday – June 9, 2019
What an amazing and marvelous time of the year this is! It is Pentecost. Pentecost is about in, up and out. This is what Dayspring has always been about; for 50 years already. Dayspring continues to be about these three short words: In, up and out.
The Spirit draws us IN to each other, and equips us for our purpose as God’s local church on earth.
I read a story that during Vacation Bible School one year, a minister’s wife had an experience with her elementary school kids that can teach us all a great lesson. About an hour before dismissal one day, a new student was brought into the room. The little boy had one arm missing, and since the class was almost over, the teacher had no opportunity to learn the details of his situation, but she was nervous that one of the other children would say something insensitive to him, so she proceeded cautiously with the lesson.
As the class time came to a close, she asked the children to join her in their usual closing ceremony. “Let’s make our churches,” she said, putting her hands together to form the “church.”
“Here’s the church and here’s the steeple, open the doors and…” Suddenly the awful truth struck her. The very thing she had feared that the children would do, she had done.
As she stood there speechless, the little girl sitting next to the boy reached over with her left hand and placed it up to his right hand and said, “Josh, let’s make the church together.”
Josh needed someone to help him do what he could not do for himself. And it is just so in every church. Jesus gives spiritual gifts to every believer that must be used so that Jesus can grow his church.
We as a congregation — as God’s church is meant to be — are fortunate to be able to fit together as different parts of a whole body, because God makes the whole body fit together perfectly. God’s Spirit equips us to be servants of the Servant, disciples of the Servant King. Those that do a certain part of building up the church are called to fulfil that part which only they can do uniquely to the very best of their specific ability.
The Spirit of God turns our eyes UP to God, towards God to be in communion with our creator, and to worship God in meaningful ways. The real sign of the Spirit of God growing us up towards God is found in the way the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. God’s Spirit living in us shapes us for a life of sincere worship. This gives meaning to our whole being.
The Spirit also sends us to go OUT to others and pass on what we have freely received. Think of a ship, and bear in mind that Dayspring owes its name, among other images, to the Dayspring ship, which was launched in 1863 for the Presbyterian Church of the Maritime Provinces. This sailing ship went out to support Dr. Geddie who was the first foreign missionary appointed by the colonial church in the British Empire. He was stationed in the New Hebrides, which are some south islands in the Pacific Ocean. She sailed out from Pictou, Nova Scotia to support Dr. Geddie’s mission over there.
Remember, a ship never gets kept in a harbour. It might look pretty for you and me. But that certainly isn’t what ships are made for. Again and again, we are called to get the sails ready, to pull up the anchor and sail out. We are made to go out, to spread the love of God to the wider world.
In, up and out! In a nutshell that sums up what Pentecost is all about. Our calling as Christians continues to be in, up and out. In to each other, up to God and out to others. Christ makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Let’s allow Christ to continue this work in us, into the next decade and who knows, into many more decades. Christ does it by his Spirit, helping us not only to focus in and up, but also to especially focus out. We keep praying for God to have mercy on us as we pass on what we have freely received.
Copyright 2019 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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