The End. Or, is it?

Well, friends, that’s it. The Summer of the Spirit is officially over, and this will be the final post of the Summer of the Spirit daily devotion.

Special thanks to all who have joined us on this summer-long journey through the Book of Acts. Thanks to all of our writers: Pastor Emily Sterling-Strongman, Kacie Tart, Mark Crain, Cameron Garrett, Mary Jo Foster, Melanie Lee, Kim Lee, Julie Mitchell, Mark Mitchell, Nancy Peed, Pedro Jimenez, Suzanne Gifford, Marsee Perkins, Mike Perkins, Sarah McClane, Erik Lindborg, Jason Locker, Debbie Manuel, Pastor Becky Postlewait, Dr. Bob Bushong, and Pastor Vance Rains (I hope I didn’t miss anyone!).

So, this is the end. Or, is it? Yes, the summer-long theme and the online devotion are over. But, we sincerely hope you have been touched by the Spirit this summer, in a way that will extend far beyond the sermon-series and the daily devotions. We hope the Spirit has become an increasingly present, dynamic, guiding, shaping, growing, inspiring reality in your life, and will continue to be. We hope you have been “baptized in the Spirit,” in the deepest sense of the phrase!

In the words of Father Raniero Cantalamessa, “People do not possess the Holy Spirit, but, rather, are possessed by him.”

Here is the challenge: be possessed by the Holy Spirit! Not just for a summer. Not just on Sunday mornings. Not just when you read an online devotion. Be possessed by the Holy Spirit, every moment of every day for the rest of your life. Allow the Holy Spirit to possess more and more of you – your time, your attention, your work, your recreation, your family, your relationships. Allow the Holy Spirit to possess your thoughts, your dreams, your desires, your will, your intentions. All of the Holy Spirit to possess your heart, mind, soul, and strength. After all, the Spirit already does. But, our eager surrender and participation makes all the difference.

Rather than “The End,” what if this is just the beginning?

As this phase of our journey with the Spirit ends, and another begins, receive this blessing… “May the LORD (including the Holy Spirit!) bless you and keep you; may the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

2 responses to “The End. Or, is it?”

  1. Vance, This Is the first time I have sent a response to Summer of the Spirit postings. I have found the daily messages to be thoughtful and inspiring. Hearing the different perspectives of the writers gave me a deeper appreciation of the Christian brothers and sisters with whom I worship. In addition to my prayers, I find that a daily devotion/meditation essential to my spiritual life. I know the Summer of the Spirit daily word was a huge undertaking. If something like it could be a regular part of the First Church experience, it might be transformational. Looking forward to seeing you Wednesday. Darvin Boothe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for writing this! Glad it was a blessing!

      Like

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