Grand Commandery Knights Templar Rhode Island & Massachusetts
Sir Knight & Rev. Michael Bickford, Associate Grand Prelate
May 28 marks the Christian holiday of Pentecost. It comes from the Greek word for 50th day for it is (almost) 50 days after Easter. After Easter, Jesus appeared to the Disciples and others for a period of 40 days. On Ascension Thursday, he ascended to Heaven and the Disciples returned to Jerusalem to discern what to do next. 10 days later, the Holy Spirit burst into the Upper Room and rested upon the head of each of them like a flame of fire, as it is recorded in Acts 2.
And then, everything changed. The Disciples, who had been full of fear, doubt, and confusion throughout the entire ministry of Jesus changed. They went to the Temple Mount and Peter gave such a compelling talk that 3,000 people were converted to the faith that day!
From Jerusalem, the Church quickly spread throughout the Eastern Roman Empire and then to Rome itself. Despite heavy persecutions, there were 5,000,000 Christians in the Empire by AD 200 (10% of the population).
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, but it is the part of God that many Christians are intimidated by. We fear that if we get too close to the Spirit that we will lose our free will, we will be called to something in life we do not wish to do, and we fear rejection by others. But, the Holy Spirit permeates the Church and empowers us to do the work of building God’s Kingdom.
The real challenge, I believe, is that by involving the Holy Spirit in your life, you greatly increase the chance that you will be called to change. Adults tend to dislike change! We may be comfortable with our lives, but there is always that voice calling us to more … to serve others, to give up feuds, to reconcile with family, and to spend time in devotional prayer daily. The calling of the Spirit can be quite daunting, but it is the only path to true growth.
My prayer for you this Pentecost is that you let go of the past mistakes like the Disciples did, and live your Christian life with zeal and openness. Let the Spirit guide you on an adventure that will not culminate until you stand before the Throne of Grace in Heaven. After all, this has been the call of Knights Templar for over 800 years!
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