The Word Among Us

May 2021 Issue

A Heavenly Birthday

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By: Jeff Smith

A Heavenly Birthday: Dear Brothers and Sisters, by Jeff Smith

Let’s get ready to have a birthday party! On May 23, we will be celebrating the feast of Pentecost and the birthday of the Church. It’s the day that the Holy Spirit came down on the first disciples and filled them with power and joy. In a sense, it’s our birthday as well, since there would be no Church without the Holy Spirit!

No one has ever seen the Holy Spirit. People saw Jesus when he walked on the earth. They spoke with him, listened to him speak, and felt his touch. Similarly, many people today see the presence of God the Father in the beauty of creation or in the love of family members. But the Spirit? People say, “Well, I don’t see him. I’m not sure I feel his presence. And I’ve never really heard his voice.” It’s no wonder that the Holy Spirit is sometimes called the forgotten member of the Trinity!

Recognize the Spirit in You. So this month, we want to focus on recognizing the Holy Spirit and welcoming him more deeply into our lives. Because no matter who you are, where you live, or how many possessions you own, the Spirit is with you because you are Jesus’ disciple. The Spirit is moving in you—even now!

• He is there to help you pray in your weakness (Romans 8:26-27).
• He wants to help you repent and turn away from sin (John 16:8).
• He is ready to empower you to share the good news that “Jesus is Lord” (I Corinthians 12:3).
• He is in you to guide you into the truth (John 16:13).
• He convinces you that God is your Father (Romans 8:15).

And this is just a partial list! As Jesus taught, “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13).

Prepare for Our Birthday Celebration. This month, as we prepare for the birthday of the Church, let’s ponder the work of the Spirit. The articles in the front section of this magazine can help you do just that. First, you can read about how the Holy Spirit was working in God’s people even before Jesus came (page 4). Then, you can ponder how the Holy Spirit worked through Mary and Jesus himself (page 10). Finally, you can consider the work of the Spirit in the early Church and in your own life (page 16). Every day between now and Pentecost Sunday, let’s invite the Spirit to reign in our hearts, our thoughts, and our words and actions so that Jesus is glorified by the way we live.

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart and kindle in me the fire of your love. Lord, send your Spirit on me, on my family, on all your people, and we shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.”

Happy birthday!

Jeff Smith
President, [email protected]