Reminded of the Holy Spirit’s Presence

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, May 20, 2018

By: Andrew Moore, Associate Rector

Strengthen, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit; empower her for your service; and sustain her all the days of her life. Amen. –Book of Common Prayer, pg. 418

Last Sunday we celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation. Over the last nine months our Matt Rawls and 26 of our remarkable young people journeyed together as they prepared themselves for the sacrament of Confirmation. They grappled with some big questions, strived to claim their faith as their own, learned about themselves and each other. By exploring the history of the church, the meaning of our worship practices, and considering how we read the Bible, we hope each member of the class was equipped with the tools necessary to develop a mature, consequential faith.

And it all led up to the moment when, on the morning of May 13, each of these young people stood before Bishop Susan Goff, she placed her hands on their heads and uttered the above words. Strengthen him with the Holy Spirit. Empower her for your service. Sustain him all the days of his life. These are powerful prayers.

These prayers rang with an extra resonance this year because our Confirmation service took place on the final Sunday of the Easter season, the week between the Ascension and Pentecost…the time in between when we remember Jesus ascending to heaven and when we commemorate and celebrate God sending the Holy Spirit to be with the apostles, with the world.
It can be easy to get bogged down in the many ways that our world challenges our faith, the many ways that walking as disciples of Jesus can prove to be difficult and treacherous. It can be so easy to forget that even though Jesus has ascended to heaven, God is still very much with us in the Holy Spirit, strengthening us…empowering us…sustaining us.

In what ways does your spiritual life need strengthening? What is the work that you need God’s empowering presence to tackle? How is the Holy Spirit sustaining you day in and day out?
My prayers for our confirmands, and really for all of us, is that each and every day we will be reminded of the Holy Spirit’s presence. That we are not strengthened, empowered, and sustained only on the day of our Confirmation, but every day. And that every day we can be confident in the knowledge and comfort of God’s warm embrace in the form of the Holy Spirit.