Pentecost – The indwelling of the Holy Spirit

On this day we recall that just 50 days after the Glorious Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came upon the Holy Apostles and all those gathered with them in a new and different way. For the first time, the Holy Spirit actually took up residence within the human soul.

Before this the Spirit of God would descend upon a person for various reasons – such as when one of the prophets was inspired to speak or write or act in a particular way so that God’s will might be made known to His people, but He did not make His abode within their soul. But something new happened at Pentecost, something wondrous, something marvellous – God came and dwelt not only among us as our Lord Jesus Christ, but within us through the Holy Spirit. The promise of our salvation that we would be united with God, began to be made manifest.

The Holy Spirit at Work In Us
Every baptized Orthodox Christian receives the Holy Spirit in and through the sacraments of baptism, chrismation and the Eucharist. How do we show that the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives?

Each Orthodox Christian is called to be part of the holy priesthood. Priests in general consecrate things – to make them into an offering to God. In the Church, Bishops consecrate Chrism and men to serve as priests and deacons in the church. Priest in turn consecrate believers in baptism and also bread and wine to be shown to be the Body and Blood of Christ. But all believers share in a priesthood in which we each are to consecrate the things in our life – our homes, families, children, jobs, hobbies, meals, friendships, thoughts, words, feelings – everything great and little can be consecrated. We can make everything we do into a holy offering to God. The meals we cook, the things we build, or memorize, or sing, or think about – all can be consecrated, offered to God. If we think we can’t offer it to God, perhaps we shouldn’t be doing it. But what we choose to do, all of these things we should offer to God, consecrate them to God and for God’s own use so that God will deify them.

Everything we have is a gift from God including our lives, our possessions, our blessings, our talents, knowledge, wisdom, the work of our hands. So what can we offer to God that is truly our own? What is truly ours are our wills and our decisions. We can freely opt to co-operate with God. We can present ourselves to God in order to serve Him. Our free wills belong to us and we can work in synergy with God to accomplish God’s will. Thus every decision, the countless ones we make in our daily lives are each an opportunity for us to serve God – to offer that moment in our lives to God, to direct our energy toward God. Our choices are a true offering to God – not something God predetermines in our lives, but what we can freely offer to God. Our love is something we can choose to offer to God. It is something God truly values in us and from us.

~ Fr Ted Bobosh

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