A couple of years ago, I was talking to a good friend, and the talk got REAL. I was having one of those "blah" kind of weeks, and I said, "I just don't feel like God is with me. God feels really far away." She nodded and then paused, like you do when you aren't sure whether you should say something. Then she said, "I hear you, but you know that's a fallacy. It's just not true. Whether or not you feel it, God IS with you."
Well, you can guess how much I loved that....not one bit! I wanted to have my big feelings and be annoyed that God wasn't being more obvious. And I wanted to find a way to fix it. I wanted to be able to DO something, preferably something quick and easy, to feel more spiritually connected.
But as I sat with her comment over the next few days and weeks, I appreciated the truth she shared. God is with me, however I feel in the moment. God is with me, when it is plain as day, and when it seems impossible. God is there, always.
This Sunday, on Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, who, in the Greek, is described as the one who is called alongside us. That Holy Spirit comes alongside us through our whole lives, when we feel it and when we don't. We will especially give thanks for the Spirit at work in the lives of our 15 confirmands, who will affirm their baptisms that day.
The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, always. But, when it's hard to feel it, we can remind each other. We can be that Spirit-led Body of Christ in the world, coming alongside one another through joys and sorrows and those "blah" weeks in between.
The Good Shepherd community is stunningly good at the ministry of accompaniment. You all care for each other all the time, in so many ways. Stephen ministers, eucharistic ministers, flower deliverers, meal preparers, drivers, prayers, visitors...there are so many ministries of Spirit-led accompaniment in this place. We also look outward, to Raleigh and the wider community, for ways that we can accompany all of our neighbors, not just those we know by name. When we give, serve, advocate, and organize, we are doing Spirit-led work in the world.
So know, today and every day, we want to accompany YOU through all life brings. If we can do so, please let us know. We'd love for you to call the church office to let us know you are in the hospital, or would like communion, or could use a ride to the doctor. If you'd like to know more about Stephen Ministry, let's talk! But please know, we're in this life together, with the Holy Spirit right here with us.
Thanks be to God for the gift of community. Thanks be to God for the Spirit!