A Great & Wonderful Gift

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:17a, 21)

Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it is gone. For example, when you live all of your life with your parents, you don’t think about what life would be like without them, until they are gone.

For some of us, the Holy Spirit is like that. We don’t even think about what life would be like without him.

Imagine what it would be like if the Holy Spirit was no longer present in this world and in our lives. No one could believe in Jesus. None of us can believe in Jesus on our own. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the gift of faith and he nourishes that faith as he acts through God’s Word and the Sacraments.

Violent crime would become commonplace like the looting and violence that occurred in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was toppled. Without the Holy Spirit restraining the evil in human hearts, it would erupt unbridled throughout the world. We would not be shocked by violence when it happens. We would be shocked when it doesn’t happen.

No one would display the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control–because there would be no Holy Spirit at work in the world. Instead, the world would be saturated with the acts of theflesh: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, drunkenness, orgies and the like. (See Galatians 5:19-25)

The Holy Spirit allows us to go our own way and live our lives without him. But he is always there to welcome us back and restore us to the place in God’s family that Jesus won for us: a beloved, forgiven child of God. What a great and wonderful gift God gave the world when he poured out his Spirit on all people on the first Pentecost nearly 2,000 years ago!

Prayer: Dear Father God, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Dear Holy Spirit, please help me to open up more and more of my life to you. Help me to hear your voice as you speak to me. Help me to live my life in step with you. Amen.

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