Earlier this year, my parents visited Washington D.C. with a group from their church. Being their first visit, they took lots of pictures and tried to see and do as much as possible. During their recent Memorial Day weekend visit to my home, I was able to look at the incredible monuments, hear various stories about our country and the founding fathers and live vicariously through their detailed descriptions. Tucked into the days’ adventures was a retelling of the morning they had been asked to share the devotional for the group. Typically this task would fall to my father, but on this occasion he had fallen ill to allergies and was unable to speak comfortably. My mother boldly took up the task and shared something that has solidified a mental picture in my mind that I have long wondered about. Her devotional was simple and short. She talked about the places they had visited, the sights they had seen and the beautiful marble that dominated the landscape. She pointed out that the one thing all those places had in common were the scriptures chiseled into the marble. It seemed that every building and monument had the Word of God, which was the cornerstone of faith for our founding fathers, inscribed into it. Visible reminders that this country was built on great faith in a great God. She then read the words of Jesus in Luke 19:40 where He told the Pharisees that if the people did not cry out his name that the very stones would cry out. As I listened to that revelation, I was in awe of my mother; in awe of the revelation God had given her, and sad that it has come to that.
The Sunday morning prior to Memorial Day, we typically honor our military during the church service. This last observance fell on the same day that we also recognize as Pentecost Sunday. This day memorializes the day the Holy Spirit visited the 120 men and women gathered in the Upper Room after the ascension of Jesus into Heaven. During a brief, pre-service encouragement to the worship team, my husband dropped another significant nugget that I have chewed on since. He reminded us all of the significance of honoring the men and women who serve and have served our country and how important our task was that morning. He then shared that He could not remember another time when the honoring of our military and the remembering of Pentecost Sunday fell on the same day. Then he shared a revelation he received that morning from the Lord. The Lord dropped in his spirit that morning that just as we honor the memory and memorialize those who have fought for our freedom, we in the church have been guilty of memorializing the power of Pentecost. We remember that event in history and too often fail to recognize that the same power is available to us today. He encouraged us that morning not to live in the “I remember when” moments but to celebrate the power, presence and authority of the Holy Spirit everyday.
That weekend left me with much to think about. I am saddened by the slow decent of our country away from the foundation it was built upon. I know there are Godly men and women serving in our government and there is a mighty move among God’s people in significant churches in D.C. and across our country, but it seems almost immeasurable when measured against the volume with which the stones are crying out. The foundations of our nation are loudly proclaiming the Word of God, while most of us live too long memorializing and talking about how much we miss this, and oh how I wish I could see that, and why doesn’t God move like He used to and the list goes on. It seems we have forgotten the power and authority that is ours to walk in, myself included. I don’t want to be guilty of only telling my children about the incredible moves of God in church when I was their age. I want them to see, hear and fell it for themselves. I don’t want to be guilty of memorializing but of living everyday with and through the power of Pentecost. The distant memory of that power is not acceptable. It has to be present, it has to functioning and it has to be now.
I encourage you today to join me in the pursuit to daily live in the power and authority available to us. I honor that power as I remember, but I choose not only to remember, but to daily celebrate that power. No longer will I allow the stones to cry out on my behalf, I refuse to live in the shadows of memory but to walk in authority. I may be a small voice, but I will be loud and I will be heard!