As Sara and I were hurrying through the mall, I admitted to her that, not only did we have a long list of errands to take care of, I hadn’t yet decided on the topic for today’s insert. I felt the pressure of the clock, but Sara assured me that the right message would come. She reached out and took my hand – and we both got a huge shock, promoted by the dry air in the mall.

Even as Sara flinched and apologized, I had to laugh: Here, in the second week of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was checking in again. Not in the guise of an entertaining hummingbird, as He did last week, but as a sharp jab. It was somewhat painful – and it was a reminder that even if the call of the Spirit is not an easy one to answer, we must answer just the same. We are not called to serve because it will increase our comfort, we are called to serve because it will increase His Kingdom. In fact, we often do our best work for Him when we are compelled to step out of our comfort zone to serve selflessly, to give sacrificially, and to love unconditionally.

Further, I realized that spark had come when Sara had taken my hand. We’d shared the spark. And as we, as the body of Christ, move through the Time of Pentecost, we must remember that the spark of the Spirit is not meant for us alone. It is meant for us to share and to spread, to ignite the love of the Lord and the desire to serve Him in others. If we truly desire to advance His Kingdom, there is no shortage of work to be done: We need to reach out and join hands with those who know the spark. We need to seek out those who have not yet felt the spark. We need to pay special attention to those in whom the spark has dwindled, so it may be revived and burn mightily within them again.

Let us join hands – and hearts – and allow the spark of the Spirit to become the holy fire by which we are inspired, energized, and sanctified. May His Love burn brightly within us all.

“For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God….[I]f you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.

1 Peter 2:19-21