E-votional - Easter People ... Have His Spirit
April 26 - May 2, 2004


“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

John 14:26 (NRSV)


Our understanding of the word Spirit has undergone a shift here recently. From powerful to pale, shapelessness to life, Spirit is something which challenges us today. School Spirit, American Spirit, Christmas Spirit, the Spirit of the law. Moreover, someone can be spirited, and thus avoided or in need of medication. You can mention to someone they have a chance to go on a spiritual retreat, however they, more often than not, are going to be too busy. A spiritual or spirit-filled church is either a drawing card or a liability, no in-between ground. Yet as I am reminded by a favorite author of mine, “like it’s Greek and Hebrew counterparts, the Latin word, spiritus originally meant breath, (as in expire, respiration, etc.) , and breath is what you have if you are alive and what you do not have if you are dead.” This breath, Spirit, is highly contagious. When a father is very excited, very happy, very sad, you catch it as easily as the flu or a yawn. Groups also have a spirit, as anyone can testify who has ever been at a Leon Football game, political rally or mob. Spirit can be good or bad, healing or destructive. So, here we are, after Easter. We need to look at people who have seen the risen Lord, you see, Easter people have His Spirit.

Hear the Good News, by His Spirit, Christ connects us with life, one another, and God. It seems life brings us into moments when we feel disconnected to people, God and ourselves, however it is the Spirit which draws us back into connection. Regardless as to whether it is an issue of distance or emotion, God is there, bringing forth a certain spirit of hope, that will hold all together. Another challenge in our life and faith is that of hopelessness and helplessness. When we feel as though we are on an island, separated from the world, separated from hope, separated from life, it is the Spirit, The Advocate, which changes hopelessness to confidence and helplessness to courage and strength. This is the spirit of Easter, of the risen Christ, the Spirit of Hope, of Life. Finally, the gift of the Spirit serves us by directing us to live under the will and authority of God. In the movie, “Stars In My Crown.” It told of an elderly black man who owned a little farm outside a southern town. Some precious metal was discovered on his property and great pressure was brought on him to sell his farm, but he would not do so. This was where his family had homesteaded and he wanted to stay on his farm. People, however, would not take “no” for an answer. They did everything they could to make him move. They burned down his barn; they shot through his house; and eventually threatened to hang him at sundown. A local minister heard about this and went to visit the old gentleman. Leading citizens of the community came to his farm dressed in their traditional white hoods. The black man stepped out on the porch wearing his best clothes. He said he was ready to die, and that he had asked the minister to draw up his last will and testament, which he wanted, read at that time. The minister read the will, and within moments everyone knew that the old man was going to give everything to them. He willed the farm to the banker who seemed hell-bent on having it. He gave his rifle to one of the white-hooded men in the crowd, who happened to be the man who first learned to hunt with this black man. To another he gave his fishing rod. He literally gave everything he had to those who were prepared to kill him. As you can imagine, the impact was incredible. Seeing all the goodness and love given in the face of such animosity was more than most folks could tolerate. One by one, in shame, they turned away, and in time, the entire lynch mob had disappeared. While all this was going on, the grandson of the minister was standing off to the side, watching with great curiosity. When the crowd left, he ran up on the porch and asked his grandfather, “What kind of will was that, Granddaddy?” The old minister answered, “That, my son, was the will of God.” As Easter People, we understand:
• The Connection is given to us (John 14:25)
• This relationship with God is developed and nurtured. (John 14:23)
• We live by faith, not because of, or in spite of, another. (John 14:24)
Let us all submit to His Spirit as Easter People.


   Gracious God, I submit to You my life and my love. Please, I pray, connect me with Your Spirit and develop within me a faith that will stand firm in every instance. Lord, I want to be an Easter People. Thank You for all You have done and all You continue to do.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks
Jewett United Methodist Church
PO Box 254
Jewett, TX 75846
(903) 626-4003


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