Come Every Soul, Only Trust Him

'Know what? I love you so much, you take my breath away! Who here's ever said that, felt that, or received that feeling from somebody else? Or wanted to? Lovers know what I mean. Deep friends, maybe. Parents do, the day they first meet their kids. Or share a proud moment like Confirmation today. O, how you take my breath away! Now, imagine a lover who gives this breath away!

[Clear vials (flower picks) handed to confirmands] I want you to treasure this. Take it with you wherever you go. Always remember you have it. Be careful not to spill it, or let it seep away. Isn't it grand? What? What it is? Well, let's be clear. Right inside here is the breath of God! (Some might call it, "Just air", but we know better.) Imagine… you… carrying around the very breath of God Almighty, Merciful, Father of the Lord, Jesus Christ! That's our church's birthday gift to you. 'Best we can do. Only, God can do better. 'Already has! Into you, you personally, God has breathed his own breath. Better than some plastic piece from a craft store, God has made you and me the carrying cases for his breath, here on earth. Call it psyche, call it pneuma, like the Bible does. Call it life force, spirit, breath…. But know it's from God. It's the difference between life and death! It's the one thing we share with all God's children. We don't have to take God's breath away. God gives it to us! God pours it out on this Pentecost Day, in the name of Jesus Christ!

"And in the last days… I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your young shall see visions, and your old dream dreams… And I will show wonders in heaven and signs on the earth, blood, fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2)

"I love you so much, you take my breath away!" That's what we say. But God loves us so much more, God says, "I love you so much, I give my breath away!" This promise, this gift God breathes out on the church, but for the purpose of being poured out on "all flesh"! It's like God desires everybody to hold in their hand and in their person, this breath you now hold (vial). But God knows this airy-thing is hard to hold onto. And he knows we're prone to "waste our breath," as we say. And to "lose our breath" chasing things and ideas and behaviors and even people that would have us run away from God. (Ah ha, sin!) No exceptions! Give it up! "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory!" So God chooses to enter into the world in the flesh and bone of Jesus. This, we can hold onto! We can hear him cry for his milk. And see him learn how to walk, and be touched by his teaching. We can be healed by his hand. We can be warmed by his embrace. His outstretched arms on the cross announce, "This is for you!" We can smell the sweetness of the garden when he rises from the tomb. And today, this actual day, you and I can taste the goodness of God… in the Bread and the Cup. Literally, we take Jesus into our bodies, a "holdable" experience of the Spirit/breath of God in you and me. Why does God-in-Christ do it? For the forgiveness of sin. We've heard the song. We've sung it. Think of God singing it to you

Come, every soul by sin oppressed, there's
mercy with the Lord; and he will surely
give you rest, by trusting in his Word.
Only trust him, only trust him, only trust him now.
He will save you, he will save, he will save you now.

What a great/glorious day we share today. But it's not for us alone. God in Christ doesn't want the world to go "empty handed" of God's love. What a tragedy, if we let the world go "breathless" of God's Spirit. Don't miss the promise or the challenge, "It shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Those of us who make the pledge to follow Jesus have a calling to fulfill. Pass along the saving faith. Pour out the Spirit on somebody else. Be like Christ. Be more and more like Christ as you and I become more and more filled with the Spirit, the very breath of God! God's expecting something of us. I don't know who, but I know that somebody here on this row, or that, or that, God desires for full time service. One of these young people, or of you, a pastor! Another, in mission, full time. Another, a teacher of Christ, with all or a part of your time. Another will help build the church as a leader from the pew. Work campers, volunteers in mission, homeless-helpers, evangelists in the grocery line or on-line. And on and on. "Come, every soul." That's our song. "Only trust him." That's our message. God loves us so much, God gives God's breath away! And that's our calling, starting today!

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