I imagine we’ve all heard those words many times over. Even if you are in your teenage years, you’ve likely grown accustomed to hearing the phrase on or around your birthday. Yet, the older I get, the more the birthdays I accumulate, and the more I hear Happy Birthday, the more it makes me think about my life. Often around my birthday, I begin to reflect upon the trajectory of my life. I think about where I’ve come from and where I am headed. I am often reminded of my childhood and the various places I grew up. I remember the blessings of friendships of the past as well as the circumstances of the past which have made me who I am today. But even more so, I begin to wonder what my future will hold. While I like to believe I have many years ahead of me, a passing birthday brings with it even a tinge of uncertainty as to the extent of my life. That’s not to be fatalistic, but realistic. I’m not getting any younger (though I feel and know I’m still very young!)
This reality of getting older, nonetheless, makes me consider what goals have I achieved in my life. Am I really living into who God has called and created me to be? Are the actions I am taking today allowing me to live into God’s vision for what it means for me to be a disciple? What must I do to stay on track? I guess birthdays can bring about an existential crisis in my life! But it’s a good one. It gives me an opportunity to re-calibrate the direction of my life.
This coming Sunday is Pentecost. It is the day we celebrate the birth of the church. On Pentecost we remember the pouring out of the Holy Spirit onto the disciples in the Book of Acts. Jesus had been raised from the dead and ascended to heaven. He had promised the coming of The Spirit which would empower them for the work of ministry. In that moment, when the Spirit came down upon the disciples, the church was born. No longer was this group a ragtag group of people who followed Jesus. Now they were empowered to do the same work as Jesus and continue His ministry. And for centuries we continue to celebrate our birth. But how are we doing in what it means to be the church? What is our trajectory? Where is God calling us? As we approach our birthday, let’s begin to consider the future God has in store for us!
Grace and Peace,