Today is Holy Spirit Day… the day following the Feast of Pentecost in the Orthodox Church. I wrote about this day back in 2008:
(photo is from 2008)
Father Stephen Freeman wrote about “The Trees of Pentecost” in his blog a few days ago:
“The Jewish feast of Pentecost (fifty days after the Passover) marks the beginning of the harvest feast. The first-fruits of the harvest are brought to the temple to be blessed of God. For Christians the harvest that is sought is the harvest of a renewed humanity and the renewal of creation. Thus the trees are a representation of the created order, assembled together with the people of God, awaiting and receiving the gift of the Spirit through whom everything is made new.”
The Church is decorated with greenery to remind us of everything being made new. As I look out my windows today, I see GREEN everywhere. This wondrous rain we’ve received the past few days (it’s raining as I write these words) feeds that new life and adds to the beauty of creation around me.
Our pastor gave a wonderful homily at St. John Orthodox Church yesterday morning during the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost. There was much to take in, but the main thing for me (and this probably wasn’t even one of his main points) was the reminder that I have two spirits. Why does that matter so much?
My own spirit—given to me at conception—is important to who I am as a person.
God’s Holy Spirit—given to the Church at Pentecost, and to me at Baptism—enables me to heal the injuries that happen to my person because of my sin.
The following is a prayer to the Holy Spirit, which is part of my regular Morning Prayers, when I’m not too lazy to pray them:
O Heavenly King, O Comforter,
The Spirit of Truth,
Who art in all places and fillest all things;
The treasury of good things and giver of life,
Come and abide in us,
Cleanse us from every stain
And save our souls, O Good One.
As I prayed this prayer this morning, I thought about how rarely I ask the Spirit of Truth to abide in me when I’m writing. I just finished writing a guest editorial for the religion column in the Commercial Appeal (Memphis’s paper) that will be out later this month. It’s about my spiritual journey. As I did final edits on the piece yesterday afternoon, I finally remembered to ask the Holy Spirit to help me.
I’m also in the middle of heavy revisions on my novel, with help from a gifted editor. It’s harder work than I anticipated, and sometimes my spirit gets weary. Today I will try to remember to ask God’s Spirit to abide in me as I’m working.
The difference, I think, is that when we ask the Holy Spirit’s help, our own spirit quits warring with Him so much.
I’m tired of fighting.
O Heavenly King.
Come and abide in me...