Every so often the question is posed, “What will be the next big thing?” The big thing usually refers to a world changing discovery or invention, like the polio vaccine, or the radio, airplane, television, computer and internet. Most recently, certainly the latest big thing has been the creation of a vaccine to fight COVID-19. Even though we do not know what the next big thing will be, Pentecost reminds us that as Christians we have the biggest thing of all: The Holy Spirit. When Jesus breathed on the apostles and holy women and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-26)”, he gave to them and gives to us the very life of God’s Spirit dwelling within us. Now that is a big thing.
The Holy Spirit helps us as we wait for and experience the big things. The Holy Spirit gives us perspective. Yes, discoveries and technological advances are big, but not as big as God. Yet, those big things can run our lives. We can spend so much time watching TV, cruising the internet, texting, tweeting and Facebooking that we lose perspective of what is truly important. Like real face time with family, friends and God. These technologies have their benefits. Nonetheless, the value of our lives is not based on who “friends” us, who texts us back or how many tweets we get. It is the Holy Spirit within us that gives us real value.
The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom. We have got to be wise in our use of technology. It can destroy lives or it can help us tremendously. Before composing the next text, flipping to the next channel, watching the next You Tube video or listening to the next song on Spotify, we do well to ask if this will be good for us or for others. The Holy Spirit can guide us in remembering that we are the ones in charge, not our smart phones, Apple watches or iPad. The Holy Spirit can give us the courage to stand up for human dignity in the midst of all the derogatory and mean-spirited messaging that is dispersed through social media. With the Holy Spirit’s nudging, we can recognize when it is time to switch the devices off in order to just be quiet and focus on the divine presence within us.
Who knows what the next big thing will be? As disciples of Jesus, we do know that we have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us. So, whatever the next big thing is, bring it on, we are ready!
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher Smith, Rector