Over the years, I have heard a good many songs which call attention to the fact that the spirit of God is active among us. I don’t have a really good memory when it comes to song titles, and thus can’t recall any particular song as I share this devotional. But I know that over the years, I have sung many such songs or choruses.
I mention this only to start us thinking about the fact that there has been, and is, continuous affirmation of the activity of God among us. Throughout the years, the church has maintained that God has been, and is, active among us, and that activity is carried on by what we call the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God.
We live in a time which has seen renewed emphasis and focus on the Holy Spirit, and the activity of that spirit among us. Churches which stress this particular activity of God are often referred to as being charismatic. Charismatic groups are generally understood to be groups which focus on the Holy Spirit, or on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “There are varieties of gifts, but the same spirit.” He goes on to list the various gifts: the utterance of wisdom, the utterance of knowledge, faith, healing, miracle working, prophecy, the ability to distinguish between spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of what is spoken in tongues. An interesting list, to say the least.
Rather than focus our attention on the list of various gifts, or on the question of which gift or gifts may be yours, I want to encourage you to think for a moment about where the Holy Spirit is active today. If I may lead you in your thinking, where is the Holy Spirit active outside the church?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all of the activity of God takes place within the church. That simply isn’t so. One doesn’t have to be in the church building, or even among church people, to discern the activity of God. I want to suggest to you that you think in terms of where God is active in your life.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is at work when someone calls an elderly person every single day to check on his or her health, and offer assistance with simple chores such as shopping. I believe that the Holy Spirit is at work when people gather every weekday to deliver Meals on Wheels to the housebound members of various communities.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is at work among people who are striving for world peace, in various ways, such as holding prayer vigils or participating in candlelight services.
If you pay attention, you can see the work of the Holy Spirit; you can feel it.
Let us pray: We acknowledge your spirit at work among us, God. You motivate us. You enable us, and you bless us. Thank you for using us as your instruments. Bless us today. Amen.
Our thought for the day is this: God’s spirit seeks to work through you. Be open to the Holy Spirit today.
Dr. David L. Glusker is pastor of First Radio Parish Church of America, 1 Congress Square, Portland 04101. “Daily Devotions” is broadcast at 6:15 a.m. weekdays and 6:55 a.m. weekends on WLBZ-TV and WCSH-TV.