For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
This morning, I was preparing to come to church and record the worship service for Pentecost. Pentecost and the Holy Spirit have been on my mind all week with the video project we worked on, and as I lifted our three-month old from his bed, I whispered, "The Holy Spirit is in you too. Did you know that?" And he grinned the biggest grin I've ever seen. I was overwhelmed by a feeling of joy and sense that my words were more true than I could imagine.
The Spirit is indeed within each of us, from the quietest to the most prophetic. From the introvert to extrovert. I'm alone in my family as being an extrovert, unless that little baby is, and I suspect as much. Even in my extended family. My mom knows every lifeguard at her pool and I can introduce you to half the staff at my Kroger. It's how we are wired. Being apart from society, especially my church family, is painful. I long to be with everyone again, as much or more than anyone. But, like the youth I serve and admire, I understand why this is a time to refrain from gathering and embracing. I'm protecting the wise elder members and the nursery kids, as well as my smiling, Spirit-filled baby.
He reminded me that that Spirit came to people in their houses on Pentecost. It connected people, and it still does. He's never been to our church, the one I serve and love and worship with. He's never been to a church at all. But he's been a part of the Church from his birth. The Spirit filled his lungs, the lungs that caused a nurse to say, "wow, he's the loudest baby I've ever heard," and the lungs that were monitored in the NICU for three days while hundreds of people from OUR church and churches of my friends, the greater Church prayed for his return home, and the lungs I seek to protect at home, grateful that others wear masks.
And those lungs, God-willing, will one day sing out as he is baptized in that Spirit, as he confirms his faith, and as he sings in our chapel. That Spirit connects us as we serve in Mexico and the DR, downtown at the shelters and in Duluth at Hands of Christ. That Spirit connects us in our homes to the homes of foster children and the house of the Lord. It makes us one people, so long as we trust God to unite us and we never let ourselves be divided, even when we are separated. And if we forget that, we need only hold a baby to remember.