105 Franklin St, South Hill, Virginia


South Hill United Methodist Church



“2 When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.”

37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.”

Acts 2:1-4, 37-39 (Common English Bible)

The other day, I took a breath and thought how nice that it is that we have finished our busy season and things will slow down some. Then, I looked at the calendar. While it doesn’t look as solidly full as it did a short time ago, what is on the calendar is important, and exciting. In just May alone, we celebrate our mothers’ and our families, our youth and our graduates, and Pentecost.

In Acts, we see the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Disciples at Pentecost, just as Jesus said it would. It is the day that we remember as the birthday of the Church. But what I find amazing about the encounter are the verses that come later. After the crowd that had assembled heard the Disciples’ speaking in languages and received Peter’s preaching, they asked what they should do. Peter’s response is clear: repent and believe, and the Holy Spirit would be available to them, too. Pentecost wasn’t just the beginning of the Church, it was the beginning of a world transformation, one heart at a time.

To me this means that we need to use the spring and Pentecost as a time to renew our commitment to God and our witness to the world around us. They, too, can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, I fear, however, that we want it all to ourselves. Somehow we are afraid to share the Good News of God’s love shown through Jesus’ Resurrection. It’s almost as if we have come to believe that in sharing, we have less to give or that we’ll run out. Funny thing about God’s love: the more we give, the more we have to give. I know it’s not how the world works, but it is how God works. All of the celebration and public display this year are part of an intentional effort to have the church at the forefront of life in this town.

And so, as we head through Pentecost into the summer, let us do so with spirits that seek the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit. Let us do so with eyes open to where God’s eyes see need in the community around us. Let us look at all we meet with the love that God clearly has for all of creation. And once we have seen, we can act. The world is hard enough. We need to be part of the solution, pointing others to God’s Grace and Love, through whatever means God puts before us. Let us have the faith to follow, even if (or especially if) we don’t see how it all fits together, yet!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Brian

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