God’s love organized

On Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus. While personal, the gift of the Holy Spirit wasn’t meant only to individually lead and guide the disciples. The Holy Spirit is with us, but not for us alone. There was a larger purpose, to the benefit of the community, to enable the disciples to spread the gospel, the “good news” to all.

While Jesus’ words “It is finished” ended one era, Pentecost begins a new one: the workings of the Holy Spirit in the world. Jesus is not physically present, but he is present through his followers, who are the Body of Christ in the world. 

The outpouring of God’s spirit at Pentecost makes clear that God’s transformation of this world did not end with Jesus’ death on the cross. We, as the Body of Christ in the world today, are part of that renewal, part of that transformation. Jesus did not leave his followers “on their own.” He sent the power of God in the Holy Spirit and called them to love one another. We are guided by the Holy Spirit to continue the Jesus’ work of transformation.

Recently, I reread The Courage to Love by William Slone Coffin, former senior pastor of Riverside Church, NY. Though it was published the year I graduated from college, his perspective, and sadly some of the issues, are still very current. One phrase stood out – “The Incarnation is God’s love enfleshed, the Church is God’s love organized.”  

Pentecost has been called the birthday of the church. How different is it to think of “church” as God’s love organized. Love… organized… not a building… not even a group of faithful people…but love, organized. 

As we celebrate Pentecost this year, where do you see the transforming power of the Holy Spirit working in your life and in the life of All Saints’ as God’s love, organized?