On Monday evening I stepped into the Narthex and saw the baptismal font glowing with light in many colors. The sun was shining through our new stained glass window directly onto the font. On Sunday, at our Pentecost celebration, we baptized baby Iris in this font, with the light of that window glowing around us. This is a beautiful and vivid sign of God’s Spirit working in and among us.
There are many signs of the Holy Spirit at St. Dunstan’s Church. Some of these signs are mystical, some are surprising, and some are simple and practical. On Pentecost I visited our beloved Marnie in the intensive care unit at the hospital. She was breathing on her own! Spirit is breath
and wind, and Marnie is breathing again. That is truly the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Marnie is looking forward to seeing the stained glass window installed with her own eyes, and I believe she will. She has been moved out of the intensive care unit and is making steady progress.
The Holy Spirit is what allows us to live with that special quality of life that Jesus calls “eternal life”. We would not have the Church today without the wondrous gift of God’s Spirit. When we work together, as we did to create our new window, we experience God’s presence and guidance. In this picture, Joe Hester is showing us how we will construct the window. Time like this, learning and working shoulder to shoulder, becomes more than fellowship and more than work when we acknowledge God’s presence. We are formed as Christians by our care for one another as we do God’s work together. That is another sign of the Holy Spirit.
The life that Jesus invites us to live (Eternal life, life in God’s Kingdom, in Greek, “zoe life”) is participation in the very life of God. Without God, our lives can feel empty and desperate, even when our circumstances are good. With God, our lives can feel full and joyful, even when circumstances are desperate. Salvation is available to us in the form of a life worth living. The path to this life is to follow Jesus. Jesus leads us, through his crucifixion and resurrection, into this new life. That path is not easy. Jesus suffered horribly, after all. We have a choice. We can suffer on our own, or we can follow Jesus and the suffering of life is sanctified and redeemed.
God does not take our suffering away, but the experience of life’s challenges is transformed. Life with the Holy Spirit is enriched, joyful, and purposeful.
The font in our narthex is just a glass bowl of water, but on Sunday, it became an instrument of new life. On Monday, as the light shone through the window onto the font, that glass bowl glowed with color and beauty. Without Christ, our lives are like that simple glass bowl. With Christ, our
lives take on new life and new joy.
With the Holy Spirit, our lives shine with color and beauty.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. David Marshall