Standing in Awe of the Holy Spirit
I’m off this week, but I have nowhere to go!
Since the Bible context conference I was planning on attending in June is canceled, I decided to take this week as Study Leave instead. I will take that week in June as vacation and hope that I can go somewhere!
Many of the folks I serve understand that I don’t preach the lectionary passages (a Bible verse calendar many mainline Protestant and Catholic pastors use). Instead, I preach sermons on whole books of the Bible, themes, or seasons. For instance, in October of 2019, I planned the sermon series I am currently preaching on about the Apostles’ Creed. Before that, it was two weeks in Jude and several weeks on the Shema. I don’t know why other than to say that the Holy Spirit told me I needed to hit some essential tenets of the Christian faith.
At that time, the Holy Spirit also prompted me on the summer series (I will announce that in early June), and the fall series on the Book of Job. I have spent the last three days working on the outlines for both of these sermon series, taking my planning all the way out to Thanksgiving!
What is befuddling to me is that it will likely take the summer months to get things back to normal, and after that, I start preaching on Job. Why would the Holy Spirit want me to preach on a book who’s theme is faith in the face of suffering? Why was this not the series starting in March when the pandemic came down upon us?
Maybe it is because we will have passed beyond this present suffering, and it will be easier to process? Maybe, and I hope this is not the case, we will be facing suffering once again? Perhaps it is both? Or perhaps it is neither?
I don’t know God’s purposes, but I have seen the work of the Holy Spirit in this process throughout the years. This I do know; I trust “42” to take us where he wants us to go. I will remain faithful, and I stand in awe of the Holy Spirit!
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”John 3:8