Living an Inspired Life
- The Rev. Bob Dannals
- Jun 01, 2017
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Several years ago a "charismatic" neighbor introduced herself as having been baptized by the Holy Spirit. "That makes two of us," I said. She was excited until she learned I am an Episcopal priest (which immediately cast doubts in her mind about the welfare of my soul) and I told her it first happened when I was two years old when our rector took me in his arms, poured water on my head, and told my parents that I had the Spirit. "And furthermore," I said, "when I was twelve I knelt before God, the Church and Bishop Duncan, and received the laying on of hands in Confirmation and was told in effect, 'You've got the Spirit again, now use it.'" Quite apart from her rolling of the eyes at my story, the issue isn't so much that I hadn't been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, it was (and is?) my hesitancy to live an inspired life.
Living an inspired life is not just a warm welcome to our friends but a hand stretched out to our enemies. It is sustainable food, shelter, health care and employment for the poor. It is a fair and equitable inclusion of immigrants, it is a comprehensive listening and responsiveness to those who are roughed up by society. It is to confront evil with tough love, a just resistance, and measured boundaries. And it is to spend our lives inspired by a God who loves us into being and guides and directs us to live fruitful lives, imitating Christ. Or, as the country musician, Kathy Mattea, sings: "You got to sing like you don't need the money, love like you'll never get hurt, you got to dance like nobody's watchin', It's gotta come from the heart if you want it to work."
Note: This Sunday, June 4, the Day of Pentecost, at Holy Innocents', we are pleased to welcome back as our preacher at 10am The Rev. John Porter, a former associate and Interim Rector. We will also have a parish picnic following this service. In addition to the main dish and beverage, you are asked to bring a side, a salad or a dessert, enough to feed eight. Please join us!