It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:16-17a (NRSV)
Last night the Baccalaureate Service sponsored by the Chamberlain Area Ministerial was held. I was asked to give the message. One of the seniors had picked the verse from Hebrews “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5) to be read. I picked up on that phrase and emphasized that Jesus would continue to be with the seniors throughout their life. I had the story of Jesus blessing the children (Mark 10:13-16) read at the service. I also brought along and showed the well known picture of Jesus surrounded by children as a visual for my message. I know that high school seniors do not like to be compared to children. I also know that it is much easier for children to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and to know of Jesus’ care. As we become older and experience some of the difficulties in life, it becomes more difficult to believe that Jesus loves and cares for me. Jesus knew that would happen and that is one of the reasons that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be a part of our life. This coming Sunday we will be celebrating one of the three major festivals of the church year, Pentecost. On this day we remember God pouring out on the disciples, and the new church, the gift of the Holy Spirit. Paul reminds us in Romans that one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit is to remind us that we are children of God and if a children then heirs. It might be hard for us to picture ourselves as one of the little children surrounding Jesus. But the fact remains that once God has claimed us as a child, we remain a child of God throughout life. As a child of God, Jesus will be with us, give us a blessing and continue to surround us with love. Whenever we begin to doubt Jesus’ love and care for us, the Spirit’s presence in our hearts will help counter act those doubts. So this week take time to thank God for God’s wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit that God poured out on the church and into each one of us.