Inspired by the Spirit
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Pastor Mark Aune
Dear friends in Christ, grace, and peace. Amen
What inspires you?
Is it stories of ordinary people overcoming great obstacles?
It is it hearing the right words at exactly the right moment in your day?
Is it hearing the right piece of music that lifts you up and takes you beyond yourself?
Is it the act of serving your community in some way as a volunteer and you can see with your own eyes that you are making a difference and you are changing lives?
We need to be inspired.
- As I think about what that means in my own life,
- being inspired takes me beyond myself to someone that I did not think I could be.
- Or to do something I did not think I could do.
Inspiration comes from many places and we all need it, and we all look for it.
We confess and believe as Jesus followers that we are inspired by the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit works in us, and around us, creating faith and inspiring us to be God’s people in the world.
It is worth noting that Jesus gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to his followers on the same night they see for themselves that he had been raised from the dead, that He is alive.
They were a small group of frightened men and women and they did not know what they were going to do after the death of Jesus. And then He shows up and inspires them.
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
To be inspired by the Spirit means you have peace. It is the first thing Jesus says to this small group of frightened disciples on that night when he shows up in their midst.
Peace be with you. He says it two times.
It is the peace Jesus gives which is the groundwork for being inspired by the Spirit. This peace provides fertile soil where the Spirit comes and does its work in our lives.
Then Jesus says, as the Father has sent me, so I send you. Then He breathed on them and said, “receive the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus sends us and the Holy Spirit inspires us. These things are linked. We cannot be sent unless we are inspired and when we are inspired by the Spirit, we are given power.
This power God gives to us is not confined to any one time or place but is at work every hour of every day. We are inspired to be living stones. Stones that create ripples of love and caring all around.
Being inspired takes us beyond ourselves so that we can be someone that we did not think we could be.
As the George Floyd trial begins this week, I think about how many people have been inspired to take a hard and honest look at racism in our country and the part we all have played, knowingly or unknowingly in systems that devalue other people based on the color of their skin.
If the Spirit has the power to take us beyond ourselves so that we can become something we did not think we could become, then being inspired by the Spirit means we are willing to change, to learn and to act differently based on the work of the Spirit in our lives.
We can all name places in our lives where we are being inspired to change, to grow and to understand what it means to act differently.
Being inspired by the Spirit takes us beyond ourselves so that we can do something we did not think we could do. It requires faith to do this. It means we are putting God is charge because change is difficult.
New ways of thinking and being are hard for us to do.
Reaching out in a new way takes courage and a willingness to place our lives in God’s hands.
When we are inspired by the Spirit, we know we are in God’s hands.
We know that God is directing our lives.
We know that it is possible for God to use us.
This is when the presence of the Holy Spirit guides us through a gentle nudge, a quiet voice, or a compelling circumstance. Holy inspiration!
Part of our task as Jesus followers is to listen to the inner heartbeat of God’s Spirit expressing love, compassion, and forgiveness in our lives.
Then if you believe it, you live it, and you accept the invitation of the Spirit by allowing yourself to be challenged, to take risks, to change and to serve.
All these things are marks that you have been inspired by the Spirit and God is using you to bring peace and grace into this world.
We are inspired.
We are living stones.
And we pray, loving God, may your Spirit inform our thoughts and empower our actions toward others each and every day.