Here we are starting a new month and once again, I spent the past one trying to keep upright in the midst of increasing turmoil and strife.
I saw one of those meme’s this morning with a photo of actor Mark Wahlberg’s classic portrayal of a confused face, as only he can do, and underneath it said, “Sooooooooo….we’re not doing Covid anymore?”
I can totally relate.
We made a quick trip to Louisville on Memorial Day to visit my family’s graves and made stops in Indiana as well. Some people were wearing masks, most were not in both states. Restaurants were doing what we are doing here – curb side and take out…yet stores and gas stations were packed.
I keep wearing my mask because I thought I was supposed to … some are…some aren’t.
And in the most recent turn of events, the angst of our nation has blown social distancing out of the picture as people gather to protest peacefully and not so peacefully and others are waging a different kind of war based on whatever their motive is.
Yet, I have to admit…I like rules to be clear so I can follow them; until I decide I won’t, when I have a good reason. So I am no better than anyone else.
I can’t believe the hatred that still exists even as so many are calling out the ugly sin of racism and it makes me ill that the voices who are trying to be heard are being lumped in with something else.
I can’t believe that some police departments are still allowing officers with a repeated record of this to continue on and I can’t believe that the store where I work had to batten down the hatches like other businesses.
There is so much confusion and amidst the desire in me to speak out against racism, I read other posts warning me that my speaking out is not helping because of my lack of understanding. So I seem to over speak or under speak and err in either direction.
Mixed messages abound and for someone who overthinks and over feels…it is overwhelming.
I feel helpless and frustrated and that reminds me that this is what started all of this. There are many who feel helpless and frustrated and have for a long time.
I have nothing to give you as wise counsel, because I am desperately praying and seeking God for His mercy on this country and the world right there with everyone who has placed his or her faith in Jesus but knows we have to LIVE IT OUT … here in the midst of the chaos.
And in the middle of it all, yesterday was Pentecost Sunday.
Because if you will take the time to read Acts 2 for yourself, you will read words that describe the coming of the promised Holy Spirit in ways that are anything but sweet and calm.
The believers are gathered in one place, we are told and suddenly they hear a sound.
My translation CSB calls it a sound like that of a violent rushing wind. In other translations it is called a mighty rushing wind. It is described in commentaries as a great breath of air blown powerfully on them.
Then tongues of fire appear and rest on each individual and empowers each one in unique ways as given to them by the Spirit.
What a contrast to the violence we humans inflict towards others for whatever reasons fuel our anger. What a contrast the flames of the Spirit were on these men and women as they received the Holy Spirit for the first time, in mass.
It was stirring and powerful and life-changing…energizing them in a way that was going to push them out of hiding and into the full boldness of Spirit-filled living.
There were those who laughed at them and derided them and misunderstood them and falsely accused them, but there were many who were brought to repentance and who also received the Holy Spirit.
And the fruit of this was the birth of the true Church of Jesus Christ.
The signs of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit was that they bowed down in repentance and were baptized and rose to devote themselves to the teachings of Christ, to fellowship, to communion and to prayer.
They gathered together in unity and broke ties with their attachment to the material world so that all that they had could be shared with all who had need.
Ponder on this chapter from the book of Acts today and regain your focus on what the power of God can do in our lives if we will receive His Spirit.
My prayers for you, for our community, for this nation and the world abound without ceasing today.
It is okay to be troubled. These are troubling times. Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world, but to take heart … He has overcome the world.
He sees the injustices of all sides. He sees the iniquity and His grace abounds more than our sins. His forgiveness exceeds our debts. His mercy is extended to all.
Seek Him today and wait for His power and then live out His teachings in obedience no matter what is going on around you <3