Getting ready to receive the Holy Spirit

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Last month, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the biggest and single most important event in Christianity. If Jesus had been born, even from a virgin, performed many miracles then died like everyone else without resurrecting, Christianity would have been meaningless. Our lives would be meaningless too.

I once wrote here about an atheist who died and someone wrote an epitaph for him that read: “Here lies a fool! All dressed up, but nowhere to go!” The writer was referring to the departed soul that did not believe in God and hence in life in the hereafter. What meaning would our life struggles and hopes and pains have if at the end of it all we just died without hope of seeing God eye-to-eye?

But with the resurrection, our worldview changes like Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians in Corinthians 5:16-17, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view… If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Halleluiah! Because God defeated death, and death, having being man’s worst enemy, we have no fear whatsoever because death has no power over those of us who are in Christ.

We can die, we can be killed, we can be bombed or whatever else terrorists would do to eliminate us; but unknown to them, only our old bodies are taken away from us; only our bodies die. But soon, Christ Jesus will resurrect us; we will arise from the tomb as new creations. There is nothing to worry over.

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” Corinthians 5:18. True we were sinners and undeserving of God’s presence. We sin many times daily, but God offered the blood of His son to perpetually reconcile us with Him. Nothing beats this in all world; that believers in Christ can be reunited with their creator through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Very soon, we will celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit to the world. The “Helper” whom Jesus promised is coming to keep watch over us. Jesus is now with the Father but we are not orphans. We are children of the Spirit. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” Jesus declares in John 14:26.

But the Spirit will only dwell among those who not only confess Christ as Lord and saviour, but also live by the Golden rule: Loving God with all your heart, with your entire mind and with all your might; and loving the neighbour as oneself.

It will not matter where you worship, who your pastor is and whether he is known as bishop or Reverend Bishop Doctor. It will not matter whether you are an usher or worship leader. What matters is that you truly love God by keeping his commandments.

You are married, but are you faithful? You are a teacher, do you go to class every time you are supposed to or do you run your own errands or sit gossiping in the staff room? You are a parent, but have you abdicated your duty to the househelp and teacher? Do you help your parents? Do you help the needy? Because even if you have a voice like that of an angel but do not love God and neighbour, your singing is in vain – even your worship or devotion or novena.

Brothers and sisters, imagine the price Jesus paid for our salvation. And what price are we being told to pay for the same of eternal life? Just living life the way we ought to live it; doing what we ought to do and honouring God the way we ought to do. Just that!

So as we await the coming of the Holy Spirit, let us take advantage of the blood of Jesus to be cleansed of our old ways. Let us, through the resurrected Jesus be reconciled with the Father. Then, and only then, will the Holy Spirit find a worthy dwelling place in our hearts.

Published in May 2015

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