God’s Spirit pervades all of life

If it were [God’s] intention
and he withdrew his spirit[a] and breath,
all humanity would perish together
and humankind would return to the dust.

Job 34:14-15

On Pentecost Sunday we rightfully remember the strange and powerful coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost as recounted in Acts 2. What we need to remember with that, as told here in the book of Job, is that God’s Spirit actually pervades all of life. Without the Spirit there would be no life of any kind, be it both physical and spiritual. As we remember in Genesis, God made the man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).

We’re too often looking for the unusual, and it’s not as if that doesn’t happen. We see plainly from the pages of Scripture that it does. And if the eyes of our heart are open, we’ll see this in life, as well. But most of life is ordinary. And yet it is every bit as special as the extraordinary because God’s Spirit pervades all of life.

That doesn’t mean there’s not a special dispensing of God’s Spirit to all who believe in Christ, and to God’s church in Christ, for indeed there is. But it does mean that we might find God’s Spirit active in unexpected places. In a sense in all of life. And really in every part of our lives, the seemingly mundane and in our minds even unimportant, as well as those special times when either the Spirit breaks through to help us, or we feel so desperately in need of the Spirit. Yes, through all of life God’s spirit/Spirit is present. For the good of the earth. For everyone, and especially for all who are in Christ individually and together. For the blessing of all people, that they too might receive the fullness of life that is in Christ. In and through Jesus.

greed or God

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Matthew 6:24

There are no two ways about it, we live in an all too often greed driven society. The rich at the top are taking in exponential profit, siphoning off hardly enough for their workers to keep up with inflation. The gap between the rich and the rest keeps growing. And if that wasn’t bad enough, we find that those making mega bucks might be willing to do so not only in not paying sufficient wages, but often also not caring about the health of their workers or consumers. Just a sad fact of life.

If we love God with all our being and doing and love our neighbor as ourselves, then such a thought would never enter our minds. We want to do the best for others, as well for the good of all as we consider our planet Earth.

Jesus makes no bones about it. It’s either one or the other. Do we really love God? That will show in how we look at and use money. Do we trust that God will take care of our needs? That is tied together as we can see from this passage (click the above link).

Yes, money is important, useful, and can be a blessing from God for us to meet our needs and bless others. But it can also be a curse if we idolize it as in loving it, hoarding it and living it up as if this world is the end and we’re our own god or independent of God. Something we’re to reject, as we embrace the One who loves us and the world that One created. In and through Jesus.

finding home

Like a bird that flees its nest
    is anyone who flees from home.

Proverbs 27:8

From an old song comes the well worn saying: “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” We feel at home at home, for sure. It’s an escape, and more than that, it’s our abode. It’s where we’re acclimated into hopefully a place where we can rest. Of course to both build and maintain a home requires work. But home ought to be above all a place we can leisurely enjoy.

God made us for home. In a sense, humans were made to be at home in fellowship with God, in Jesus taken into the communion of the Triune God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But God made humans also to be earthly dwellers in communion with each other. And even to have a relationship with animals, I’m thinking of pets. This is why the biblical promise of heaven coming down to earth and becoming one with it when Jesus returns is so appropriate. God will come to earth to dwell with his people. In the meantime, God lives with us in Jesus as Emmanuel (God-with-us).

So our true home is right where we live on earth, renewed in Jesus, and in God in and through Jesus. Both.

So we are at a loss, and lost when we stray from either. Especially basic for us is to find our home in God, but we are earthlings, made from the dust of the earth, so that this wonderful world in the end renewed in the new creation at the resurrection in and through Jesus is also our home. We can’t get too much of either, as we now live in the world to be renewed when God makes all things new through Jesus.

“This world is not my home,” refers to the world system, which like Babel of old (Genesis 11) is estranged from, and in opposition to God. So that this life is not our final home. We are strangers here, pilgrims on a journey, looking for a better, heavenly country (Hebrews 11).

We pray for those who have strayed from their true home, that they would find it in God. And we long to be more and more at rest in that, as well. While we fulfill our calling to work and be stewards of this good earth God has entrusted to us. Knowing that our work someday won’t end, though the toilsome labor due to the curse imposed on it will. At Jesus’s return.

Home.