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Cheryl Davis
The Mark of a Christian in a Broken World -- Posted July 15, 2015
2015.07.16 02:38:08

The Trestle Trail shootings have brought me back to one of the most important reasons I’m a Christian. It’s expressed clearly by Elton Trueblood: “For the Christian, there’s something deeper than the tears.” That “something deeper” holds us steady when all of life is spinning out of control. It gives us hope when we have every reason to despair. It keeps its promise when every human promise has been broken. It lifts our head when we have no strength to lift it on our own. It looks tragedy and broken dreams in the face and says to them, “You are not the winner. Just wait. God will bring something good out of this yet.” (Romans 8:28)


Today is Pentecost Sunday. Today we remember that the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son to the believers in Jerusalem who could not imagine what would happen next. Jesus had recently returned to his Father. He’d said that they would not be orphans; he would send them another Counselor to be with them forever.


The Spirit-Counselor would go deeply into their beings and live with them there. It would light a fire in their hearts. It would hold them steady when life was not steady. It would give them hope when they could not hope on their own. The Spirit would give them direction, comfort them in grief, and give them holy joy in the darkest nights.


And so they waited…for something deeper than their sense of loss at Jesus’ departure, for something deeper than their fear and uncertainty. And the Spirit came—in a rush of wind and fire--and made them new. It gave them the power to live out Jesus’ commands and to spread his gospel to the ends of the earth. It gave them the power to live in unity with one another. It gave them power to remain strong in the faith.


That same Spirit empowers us today, no matter the circumstance, no matter the pain of life in a broken world. Even when our pain goes all the way to the depths of our being, the Holy Spirit goes deeper. The Spirit enables us to hope in God’s faithfulness even when the world expects us to despair.


This is the mark of a Christian in our world today. Thanks be to God.


Vicar Cheryl




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