Monday, June 28, 2010

The Invasion of the Spirit

Today is the Fifth Sunday in Trinity Season. Some traditions of the Christian Church count these Sundays as the Sundays after Pentecost and so refer to this as Pentecost Season. But both ways of designating this season are interested in celebrating and remembering the ways in which the life of God is being impressed into this world in history. When the Spirit was poured out, the apostles and first Christians began acting and speaking like their master, the Lord Jesus, because they had been given His Spirit, and the book of Acts is the story of that beginning. At the very end of the New Testament, John sees the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, and this is not merely something John hopes will happen some day. John was confessing that it had begun in his day, some 2000 years ago. The birth of Jesus was the birth of this world’s King, and when He poured out His Spirit, the invasion of this world began. And that is why we are here. We are here because we have been conquered by that Spirit. We were once enemies of the Kingdom. We were once enslaved by tyrants and gods and demons. And sin and death had its way with us. But Jesus did not take no for an answer, and He invaded our lives, our stories, and He subdued us to Himself. We are the spoils of King Jesus.

And we are among many countless millions this morning gathered around the throne of grace. John saw a vision of a multitude that no man could number, and in his day, there were only a few thousands of believers. If there was any doubt, there cannot be any more. We serve the Lord Jesus who rose on the third day conquering the last enemy, and Paul says that He must reign until all of his enemies have been put beneath His feet. We are citizens of this Kingdom, the Kingdom that has come, the Kingdom that is coming, the Kingdom that will come and fill this world. And we are gathered here to proclaim this fact, to proclaim that every pharaoh will fall, every tyrant will be brought down, and we are here to proclaim the forgiveness of sins and the exodus of every slave. And as we look around our city and neighborhoods, we here to cry out to God to remember His promises. We are here to cry out for those still in bondage, those still groaning beneath their loads. But we cry out in faith because Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt. 11:28-29)

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