February 27, 2021

Welcome Holy Spirit

February 27, 2021

By Pat Ralls

I am incredibly grateful for having been raised in the church as a child.  The ritual of weekly attendance instilled an understanding of the importance of regular worship, introduced me to scripture, and gave me a reverence for God.  But what I experienced at church was rarely discussed at home. So as I got older, my desire to know God on a more intimate level grew strong. That coincided with the time our family began worshipping at BUMC.

Through full participation in the life of BUMC, I have learned about and been transformed by God’s grace and unconditional love.  Opportunities such as Disciple Bible Study, Companions in Christ, a covenant group, and my Sunday school class have been so important to me.  The incredible preaching and opportunities for service through our church have solidified my faith, and guide my life every day. 

But life is not always just about joy, and yes, I have been severely tested.  Eleven years ago, our son, Brian, who was 23 at the time, was killed in a horrible car crash caused by a distracted driver. I can’t imagine anything worse happening. Do you know what I said to the visibly shaken pastor who dropped everything and came to our home on the worst day of our lives?  Through tears of grief, I told him that I felt better prepared by all I had learned and all that he had taught for such a time as this.  I was then and am now so grateful for that foundation.

I recognize the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in my life because ultimately, and sometimes even a little reluctantly, I opened myself up to the possibility.  I’m now quite sure that God was pursuing me my entire life, but I also know I was not always in a posture of listening.

The resurrection of Jesus is very real to me in so many ways, at all times. Perhaps we have a heightened awareness of the new possibilities that God opens up to us, especially during this period of Lent.  We only need to have the eyes to see and a heart to listen.  Setting aside these forty days of waiting and preparing for the ultimate gift of Jesus’ resurrection is something I now anticipate with joy and gratitude.