Devotional article for The Greybull Standard
and The Republican Rustler
God's own Life and Breath
This Sunday will be not just a regular Sunday. It will be the Day of Pentecost. And the Church of Christ will celebrate not only the memory of Pentecost, but also its present reality: that the Spirit of God - who is also the Spirit of Christ, since Christ is God – has come to us.
For Pentecost means nothing less than that.
In both the Biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek, the words for “spirit” also mean “breath”; and “spirit” or “breath” is used as an expression for one's innermost self.
From this we learn an important truth as to what it means that Christ has given His Spirit to His Church. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God, and the life of God, and the innermost self of God. His coming means that God Himself lives in His Church, and gives His very own life and self to be in us.
“I will not leave you as orphans,” our Lord Jesus said about the coming of the Holy Spirit, “I will come to you.” And: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my Word, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our dwelling with him.”
So not only has the Son of God won full forgiveness for all sin with His sufferings and death; not only is His Word His promise to us sinners that we can have a place with Him in Heaven; it is His own life He promises to us, that which He had from eternity in glory, being with God and in God, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And He comes to us, when we hear His Word of life and take it to heart, and gives His life to us already.
This is a gift much more precious than the ecstatic and emotional experiences some say Pentecost is about. It means that His salvation is really given to us sinners with His Word. He Himself gives His life to us. This is how we come alive, constantly, from the death of disobedience and defiance that is in us, so that we begin to believe in Him, and actually own the salvation He promises and actually gives to us with His Word.
In that sense, Pentecost is a very Lutheran celebration. It points to the precious reality that God Himself is with us, in the life of His Church, and gives Himself to us, with the fulness of the life that is His.
This reality we shall celebrate again this Sunday, as we hear His Word and celebrate His presence and feast on the body and blood of Christ and receive life and salvation from Him, for real; just as we do on any other Sunday.
Pastor Jais H. Tinglund
Grace Lutheran Church, Greybull/Zion Lutheran Church, Emblem