Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bishop’s Note: June 8, 2017 – Pentecost

Bishop Eric Menees

Happy Birthday to you all! I pray that your Pentecost Celebrations were truly blessed. I was blessed to be able to preside at two confirmation services – in Tehachapi and in Henderson. At Good Shepherd, Henderson, I was delighted to confirm Fr. Howard and Dcn. Erin Giles’ eldest daughter and Fr. Ian & Mary Burgess’ three eldest boys… it was a truly family affair!

I was struck in the difference between the lessons from Acts chapter two and John chapter twenty. So often, receiving the Holy Spirit is thought to always be a dramatic event. After all, the book of Acts describes the coming of the Holy Spirit this way: “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a on each one of them.” (Acts 2:1-3) But the Holy Spirit is more often received in subtle ways – as soft as a breath.

We need to cast off the idea that everything about God the Holy Spirit is grand and dramatic, though he certainly may come that way. Just as often, scripture describes the Holy Spirit “descending like a dove” (Luke 3:22); like “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12); and “hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)

The question isn’t if the Holy Spirit comes to us in a grand or quiet way; the question is whether we receive Him when He comes. It is imperative that we open our hearts and souls to the grace, power, and mercy of the Holy Spirit so that we, in turn, can be instruments of God’s grace, power, and mercy for others!

Thirty-nine Articles of Religion
XXXI. Of the Marriage of Priests.
 Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, are not commanded by God's Law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.

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