The Holy Spirit is surely "up to something" here at Trinity - as evidenced, in particular by yesterday's worship service.
Often ways of addressing the day's biblical text for children come fairly easily to me. Many of the biblical stories lend themselves well to children's sermons. Yesterday's text from Galatians (1:13-17, 2:11-21) didn't seem to lend itself as readily or as quickly with its emphasis on justification by faith.
I had decided to talk about "faith" in a more general way. I asked the children what was faith and they quickly came back with "believing in something". Then the Spirit really got to work as I asked, "what are some things that you believe in". They each began to tell us their own statement of faith - that Jesus loves everyone, that our sins are forgiven, that God created everything and more. Many of the phrases seemed as if they were directly from the Creeds of the church (and there were no comments about believing in Santa, the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy).
This was great in and of itself, but then the conversations turned to our need to take care of God's creation and that we should love and take care of other people with some examples of how we might do that. Many of these responses were from our first graders. I was blown away - not because they could use phrases like "Jesus forgives our sins" but that they put them into context and action! They shared their own Faith Talks yesterday as they witnessed to their faith. It was truly an amazing witness and we were blessed by them!
Then the Spirit had some fun as the choir did a bit line dancing (a la the Rockettes) at the rear of the sanctuary as we sang "What a Fellowship, What a Joy Divine", breaking into laughter as we were dismissed to "go in peace, share the good news" which they certainly were doing! This was divine joy and fellowship and it was truly a blessing!
I've experienced the Spirit at work as well as our Church Council met on Saturday for our spring retreat and then as some of the parents of confirmation students gathered last night. I've also seen the Spirit at work as we have met with our young people who are preparing to affirm their faith in a couple of weeks.
God is on the loose! The Spirit is on the move!
I hope you all are ready!