Spirit and Life Series Recap

It has been fifty-six days, eight weeks, since we celebrated Easter. If we take a few minutes to stop and look around, we have seen a radical transformation in the world around us throughout this time. There has been tremendous growth in the length of sunshine and the warmth of days. These things combined with timely rainfall has produced foliage on the trees and flowers in our gardens and nearby fields. For many of us this outside growth of the flowers, shrubs, and tress may have increased the daily occurrence of sternutations we experience. For the non-medical reader, of which I am included, a sternutation is a medical term for a sneeze. From the online source of knowledge, Wikipedia, a sneeze is defined as a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth, usually caused by foreign particles irritating the nasal mucosa.

The past five weeks we have focused on a spring sermon series entitled, Spirit and Life. A quick listing of the titles of those sermons is noted below:

  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. The Communion of the Spirit
  3. The Preparation of the Spirit
  4. The Power of the Spirit
  5. The Witness of the Spirit

Throughout this series we have learned more about the Holy Spirit and its active role in our lives and world today. The Holy Spirit testifies of the Son, Jesus Christ, much in the way that Jesus always pointed the disciples, the religious leaders of the day, and anyone to whom He came in contact with to the Father. He was faithful in that calling—even to death on the cross. At any point during the turmoil of the crucifixion He could have summoned a legion of angels to rescue Him, out of His immense love for each one of us He chose sacrifice of His perfect blood to be our recompense.

Three days later, on that glorious resurrection morning, Peter & John came to the tomb to find the linen strips that had bound the Saviour’s body and the cloth that covered his eyes & head. In John 20 we read that this cloth was folded and placed aside, by itself. What does this folded face cloth tell us?

Have you ever made a meal perhaps utilizing a new recipe, that just didn’t turn out as expected? According to Jewish tradition if you were invited over for a meal and you disapproved of the food that you had eaten, instead of speaking verbally against the host & hostess you would fold your napkin in a certain manner as if to say, “I will never eat of this meal again.” In a similar way, Christ was declaring through this folded face cloth that He would never taste and see of death again. This promise holds true for all who believe in His name as the one way, the narrow road, to be reconciled with the Father to receive forgiveness of all sin. While we will all experience a physical death—the promise of eternal life in Heaven of our soul accompanied with a new body awaits those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

In reflecting upon this series and the joy of springtime growth & renewal I was challenged by the trees, shrubs & flowers. It is challenge to glorify God. The living limb on a tree brings forth leaves, fruit, solely through the process of abiding in the trunk of the tree that provides nutrients for growth. While not 100% certain, I expect that the tree or flower does not seek to reproduce the same fruit as last year. Rather they seek new growth to display honor and glory to God. In 2 Chronicles 20 we read a story about King Jehoshaphat that exemplifies this illustration. In this chapter you will read that a great multitude of people across different nations had rose up against Judah. In verse three from the ESV version it reads that King Jehosophat, “…was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord…”. He set his face toward the Father; this provided a new perspective and hope. He later commanded the nation to fast and led them in a prayer that reflected upon the promises of God in the past—His faithfulness for the people in the steps that they had already trod and for the steps they had to take. These steps of preparation, rooted in seeking out God, led to a new victory and testimony of God’s faithfulness in the tapestry of their lives.

As we reflect on the example of God’s glorious creation that may cause us to physically sneeze during this time of year, I pray that we also experience spiritual convulsions that mature and deepen our relationship with the Father so that we can be an effective witness to point others to the hope found in a relationship with Jesus.

In closing I leave you with the first verse, chorus, and bridge from a song by Josh Baldwin entitled, “Get Your Hopes Up”.

Verse 1

I see the sun waking up the morning, reviving dreams

I feel the wind on my back with promise, reminding me

There’s a garment of praise for heaviness

There’s a new song burning inside my chest

I’m living in the goodness that He brings

Chorus

Get your hopes up

Lift your head up

Let your faith arise

Get your hopes up

Our God is for us

He’s brought us back to life

Bridge

Christ before me

Christ behind me

I am firmly held

In His mercy never ending

I’ll remind myself

Christ before me

Christ behind me

I am firmly held

In His mercy never ending

I’ll remind myself
 
 
Shawn Moshier

X