Going Deeper 6-10-19

In the beginning, we are told, when God created the heavens and the earth, the Spirit of God moved, danced like the wind, like breath, over the waters.  God spoke and created everything.  God breathed and created life.  God created humankind, male and female, in God’s own image.  When God created man, God formed him from the dust of the ground, and then God breathed life into the man.  The breath of God is the Spirit of God.  The Spirit of God is the breath of God.
After sin entered the scene as humankind exercised their God-given freedom to reject their Creator, do you know what God continued to do?  God kept creating—re-creating.  After sin tore everything apart, God set in motion a plan to restore.  The Spirit of God would continue to move, continue to dance, continue to work.  Through all of the messes, all of the brokenness, through all of the broken people, God moved forward God’s plan.
When we entered the scene, rebellious by nature, broken by sin, the very same Spirit of God moved and danced over baptismal water, like breath, like the wind.  Through the water of regeneration, our Creator recreated-- and still recreates-- us.  God adopted us back into His family.  We are His children.  That very Spirit bears “witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”  
God keeps creating—re-creating.  As sin threatened to tear everything apart, God keeps in motion His plan to restore.  The Spirit of God continues to move, continues to dance, continues to work, like a divine Artist.  Through all of the messes, all of the brokenness, through all of the broken ‘us’, God moves forward God’s plan to restore all things in Jesus the Christ.
Among the suggested readings for this Pentecost Sunday an alternate reading is provided.  Instead of the story of Pentecost, we’re given the choice of reading from Genesis 11 the story of the tower of Babel.  Do you understand why?  It is because Pentecost is the reversal of Babel.
The very strange story of the attempt to build a tower in Babel which would—at least from broken man’s perspective—reach the heavens and therefore put man on the same level with the gods, ends with the Creator of the universe confusing their language, causing humanity to be scattered across the earth.  With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the wind and breath of God on the day of Pentecost, God spoke through His followers in a single language miraculously understood by all who were gathered, thus reversing the scattering of Babel.
This continues to be at the heart of the Spirit’s work-- to gather the scattered, to restore the broken, to recreate community.  Starting with you and with me, the Holy Spirit of God first clarifies the truth about sin, about our sin… it is real, it is deep and pervasive, and it is deadly… and we cannot free ourselves from our sin and its consequences.  
Once the Spirit inspires repentance within us, it breathes life into us through the Gospel of grace.  Our deep, pervasive, deadly sin has been totally eradicated.  By grace we are the children of God.   And now we are called and empowered to live as children of God, to be transformed back into our created form, living as a community, as a family.  The Spirit helps us to abide in Jesus, and we see ourselves as “little christs”—carrying on His reconciling, healing work in this world.
On this day of Pentecost, may the very same Holy Spirit of God, the very breath of God, fall more powerfully upon each of us and all of us, assuring us of our status as children of God and family of God, and inspiring and empowering us to serve as instruments through whom God works to continue the work of Jesus among us and through us… in accord with God’s will and to His glory.