Texts from the Empty Tomb • 05/29/2020

A devotion from MVLC Director of Music Ministries Susan Bloomfield.

This Sunday marks one of my favorite church holy days, the Day of Pentecost. 

Pentecost celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit in many forms – as tongues of fire upon the heads of the disciples (Acts 2:3), as wind (Acts 2:2; Genesis 1:2), as a dove (Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:22), as Advocate or Comforter (John 14:16), and as Inspirer (2 Timothy 3:16).

As a sacred musician, I rely heavily on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  When I am choosing music for worship, I try to listen for the voice of God – both in the Scriptures and in what is happening in the world – and follow the nudgings of the Holy Spirit.  I always know the Spirit has been at work when the readings, sermon, prayers, and music come together in such a way none of us could have planned or predicted.

That is the gift of the Holy Spirit – to experience the unpredictable movement of God working in our lives.  The Holy Spirit seen in the image of a dove is the same spirit that comes to us as fire which can be warming, life-giving, but also destructive and all-consuming.  The advocate and comforter is also the wind of a gentle breeze or a powerful tornado.

In baptism we receive the power of the Holy Spirit, trusting that God will give us the words, wisdom, and grace to act upon the stirrings of the Spirit. 

Veni Sancte Spiritus.
Come, Holy Spirit, from heaven shine forth with your glorious light.

Veni Sancte Spiritus.
Come, Father of the poor, come, generous Spirit, come, light of our hearts.

Veni Sancte Spiritus.
Come from the four winds, O Spirit, come breath of God; disperse the shadows over us, renew and strengthen your people.

Veni Sancte Spiritus.
Most kindly warming light! Enter the inmost depths of our hearts, for we are faithful to you. Without your presence we have nothing worthy, nothing pure.

Veni Sancte Spiritus.
You are only comforter, Peace of the soul. In the heat you shade us; in our labour you refresh us, and in trouble you are our strength.

Veni Sancte Spiritus.
On all who put their trust in you and receive you in faith, shower all your gifts. Grant that they may grow in you and persevere to the end. Give them lasting joy!

Where is the Spirit moving in you today?

Let us pray.

O God, you open the hearts of your faithful people by sending into us your Holy Spirit. Direct us by the light of that Spirit, that we may have a right judgment in all things and rejoice at all times in your peace, through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Image: “Pentecost,” oil on canvas, 1545, by Titian. Public domain.