“In the Midst of the Storm”

“In the Midst of the Storm”

As I sit here at my computer, it is thundering and lightning and pouring down rain at 4:30 am. With every flash of lightning across the sky, I am reminded of the power of God. As awesome as this storm is, it pales in comparison to the awesome power of God.

During the months of April and May we celebrate two of the most powerful events in human history – the resurrection of a man called Jesus and the pouring out of God’s Spirit upon His disciples on the day of Pentecost.

These two events were summed up beautifully by a young wrestler from Penn State just a couple of weekends ago. Aaron Brooks had just won his third national title at 184 pounds to help his team win its tenth team title since 2011! But that is not what is so awesome; what is awesome is what he said while being interviewed on national television by an ESPN commentator.

“How does your strong faith help you on a night like tonight?” the commentator asked.

“It’s everything,” Brooks responded. “Christ’s resurrection is everything. Not just His life, but His death and resurrection. You can only get that through Him, the Holy Spirit, only through Him. No false prophets, no Muhammad, not anyone else. Only Jesus Christ Himself!”

The ESPN commentator was a bit shaken by this impromptu gospel message from an out of breath champion wrestler, so he tried to pivot the conversation back to wrestling, but Brooks was not budging.

“Power and finesse are your calling cards …” the commentator began. But before he could even finish his question, Brooks interrupted and said, “The Holy Spirit.”

As the commentator stuttered, Brooks just plowed straight ahead, “Power and finesse, Acts chapter one, verse eight.”

[The verse reads: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”]

Brooks continued on, “The Holy Spirit, power, that’s everything. That’s where it’s from.”

The ESPN commentator tried a different tactic by asking Brooks where his finesse came from.

“The Holy Spirit as well,” said Brooks with a wink and a smile.

There is more to the interview, but you get the message from this three-time national champion, “It’s all about God, it’s all for Him, so it’s all for His glory,” he said as he ended the interview.

What a remarkable interview on national television! In just a couple of minutes he gave a gospel message about Easter and Pentecost – the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of His Spirit upon His disciples just 50 days later. An ordained minister could not have done a better job.

I encourage you to first reread both stories in your Bible. Since Luke wrote the Book of Acts, in which he describes the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (chapter two); I suggest you read his version of the Resurrection as well (Luke 24).

Then contemplate how you might be a bold witness for Christ, just as young Aaron Brooks was on national television. Remember, “It’s all about God, it’s all for Him, so it’s all His glory.”

By the way, the storm outside has ended, the lightning and thunder have stopped.

Hallelujah! Amen

By Rev. Rich Pollock, Worship Committee Chair