There’s a simultaneously silly yet sad remorse that preachers go through after each delivered sermon. The symptom is called “preacher’s remorse.” Basically, it’s the regret over not being able to cover everything you saw in the text, or the regret over forgetting an important point, or second guessing the wording and delivery of some content.
It’s a silly remorse because on one hand, if all the prep was done in prayerful dependence and submission to the Spirit and a sincere effort to be faithful to the text and an intentional attitude of “This is not about me and my ego. It’s about feeding God’s flock,” then we should just trust the Spirit to do his work by grace in spite of the preacher. On the other hand, there is a tinge of sadness because there’s just so much goodness, richness, and truth to God’s Word that we never want to short change.
That said, wow… Acts 2:1-13–this past Sunday’s text. What an epic passage! The in-breaking of the Holy Spirit to fill and catapult the church into an historic chapter of God’s redemptive story! Naturally, there was too much to say in too little time regarding this text. I felt tremendous preacher’s remorse the minute I finished the sermon 😜! So here are two follow up thoughts to this past Sunday’s sermon (to ease my preacher’s remorse, ha! but more importantly for all our encouragement):
- The New Testament actually commands us to be filled with the Spirit. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, said, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…” (Ephesians 5:18). Here is more proof that we should seek to be filled with the Spirit. So pray the prayer suggested in this past Sunday’s sermon in your own words from your own heart: “Father in heaven, I pray in Jesus’ name, fill me with your Spirit. I receive your Spirit for today, moment by moment, by grace through faith.”
- One more thought about Jesus and his connection to the gift of the Spirit. Matthew’s gospel, Luke’s gospel, and John’s gospel all record that Jesus gave up his spirit as he died on the cross. “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” (Matthew 27:50) “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.'” (Luke 23:46) “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30). What’s the point? Do you see how beautiful and precious the gift of the Spirit to you and me, to the church truly is? The gift of the Spirit came at the cost of Jesus giving up his own spirit so that we could be filled with his Holy Spirit. Jesus reverses the curse of separation from God wrought by sin to the farthest radical opposite: the most conceivably intimate union with God through Christ with the filling of his Spirit in us. God. Resides. In. Us.
May we all increasingly experience the presence and power of God through the filling of the Spirit in our day to day for all that God has called us to–relationships, work, rest, play.
Grace and peace,