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Pentecost: come Holy Spirit, come!

Come, Holy Spirit, come!  
And from your celestial home Shed a ray of light divine!  
Come, Father of the poor!  Come, source of all our store!  
Come, within our bosoms shine. You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest; Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet; Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine, May that light within us shine and our inmost being fill!  
Where you are not, we have naught, Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint and ill.  
Heal our wounds, our strength renew; On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.  
On the faithful, who adore And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward; Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.  

Amen. Alleluia!  (ancient Sequence for the octave of Pentecost)

Luther writes in his Large Catechism: No human wisdom can comprehend the Creed: it must be taught by the Holy Spirit alone.  Therefore the Ten Commandments do not by themselves make us Christians, for God’s wrath and displeasure still remain on us because we cannot fulfill his demands.  But the Creed brings pure grace and makes us upright and pleasing to God.  Through this knowledge we come to love and delight in all the commandments of God because we see that God gives himself completely to us, with all his gifts and his power, to help us keep the Ten Commandments: the Father gives us all creation; Christ all his works, the Holy Spirit all his gifts.”

The Holy Spirit!  Without the person and work of the Holy Spirit, there would be neither Christians nor Church; for He calls us by the Good News, enlightens us with His gifts, sanctifies and preserves us in the true faith.  Just as He calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth and preserves it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.   Jesus makes sure we do think of this as an abstract truth, or something that only belongs only to the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost,  but as a personal and ongoing reality in our daily lives as His followers

On the last day, the climax of the holidays, Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.” (He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him; but the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet returned to his glory in heaven.)

In sending the promise of the Father, the Spirit of Truth, Jesus not only satisfies our thirsty souls, but causes rivers of living water to flow from the inmost being of His followers to refresh and revive the drought-stricken lives of their neighbors.

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