But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
May is a month full of holidays and celebrations. In Germany, May 1st is the holiday that celebrates all workers—their Labor Day. On the second Sunday in May, people in many countries around the world honor their mothers. They usually give gifts of cards, flowers, and special dinners. In the United States, May 31st is Memorial Day. On that day, Americans remember those who gave their lives to preserve peace and freedom. It also marks the unofficial start of summer with parades and parties.
May is also a month for Christians to celebrate the special church festival of Pentecost. It comes exactly seven Sundays after Easter. This year that will be on May 28th. We usually don’t have special church decorations—maybe just a banner or special altar flowers. We usually don’t exchange gifts or enjoy elaborate meals. But we do usually sing special hymns and hear sermons dedicated to the Holy Spirit. That is how Christians celebrate the day Jesus sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to his disciples.
In Acts chapter 2, we read: The disciples were gathered together in one place when…”Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” What an amazing way for Jesus to send the gift of the Holy Spirit! And what a wonderful way to get the attention of the Jews gathered in Jerusalem for a festival of thanksgiving—their Pentecost. Many heard and believed Peter’s powerful message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament festival of thanksgiving became the New Testament festival of praising God for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Tongues of fire, loud noises, and international multitudes of that first Pentecost are past. Now the Holy Spirt continues quietly working through his Word. He calls us. Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Romans 10:17). He enlightens us. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). He guides us to lead a sanctified life. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). And finally, he keeps us in the faith until we reach our heavenly home. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,…will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (1Peter 5:10)
May our hearts and voices worship and praise the God who quietly and consistently works faith in our hearts and preserves us in that faith. To do that we can turn to our hymnals. They contain many hymns of praise to the Holy Spirit, which we sing in church. Those hymns are also an excellent resource for our personal devotions. Perhaps Martin Luther wrote this stanza to use in his family devotions. What a perfect Pentecost prayer!
Come, holy Light, Guide divine, And cause the Word of life to shine.
Teach us to know our God aright And call him Father with delight.
From ev’ry error keep us free; Let none but Christ our Master be
That we in living faith abide, In him, our Lord, with all our might confide.
From April 6-9, 52 people gathered in beautiful Würzburg for our Easter retreat. We enjoyed worship, Bible study, and fellowship – and a super Easter egg hunt. Enjoy these photos.
Pastor Weiss has accepted the call to serve as the next chaplain. His arrival date has not been determined yet. The Hartwigs will be leaving in mid-July.
For All Our Mothers
We give thanks to the Lord for faithful, Christian mothers. They care for us as God’s own and bring us up guided by His Word. We ask God’s special blessing upon our military moms. They often care for their families for weeks and months at a time while their husbands are deployed. May Jesus keep our mothers in his tender care as they continue to faithfully serve him.
In April €154.00 and U$29.00 were received in basket offerings. €1400.00 were received as direct deposits. The retreat offering was €1047.50.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8
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