“I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your old shall dream dreams, and your young shall see visions” Joel 2:28
Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes in supernatural, dramatic ways as on Pentecost with the escalating sound of a windstorm, dazzling tongues of fire, disciples speaking in different languages, and thousands added to the church through baptism; in short, with lots of excitement. Sometimes the Spirit moves in gentle, quiet, unassuming ways, yet just as powerful and effective.
On my first visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, I was captivated by what I saw every morning from our hotel balcony. Wisps of smoke and mist continually rose up from the landscape and evaporated into the air. The seen and the unseen, that action, that process silently and continually occurred. Even so, the Holy Spirit of God sends and brings us blessings to rise up in our hearts and lives. We receive and we give away. We are filled and refilled as we share His grace and His gifts with others. Sometimes visibly, sometimes invisibly, ministry takes place and people are blessed.
The prophet Joel tells us that the Lord pours out His Spirit on all humanity, universally, so that new dreams and visions can motivate us and inspire us. As our church and our world recoups and recovers from the COVID pandemic, we need to revisit the questions that have been set before us in the last few years: What is God calling us to be? What is God calling us to do? Personally, how can I respond to His challenge and call to me? Dreams and visions inspire new beginnings, fresh opportunities and endless possibilities. Jesus’ disciples discovered that in the days following Easter and Pentecost. We can too. Just as the morning mist rises up from the mountains, so does the Spirit ascend in our hearts to empower us for living and renew and refresh our ministry.
The Rev. Joseph A. Miller has served congregations in Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Carolina. He likes to travel, play the accordion, and collect U.S. commemorative stamps. He and his wife, Marcia, have two sons and two granddaughters.
1. How can my dreams and visions be translated into specific ministries for the church?
2. How can they inspire me to serve and bless the lives of others?
Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me today. Enlarge my vision and help me dream big dreams, to the praise and glory of your Name. Amen.