I'm thankful he noticed our intentionality, as this was a shift from our former messages of advertising various events or activities at the church. We changed our strategy because we recognize the continual messages in the news are bad news, often times discouraging or disheartening. It seems that power of negative words has taken over our society, and we are at a point of deep fatigue. I believe we are hungry to hear a message of encouragement in this day and age.
The Spirit gives us messages all the time, reminding us of God's love. But many times we misunderstand what they mean. They might be gentle moments of grace, or even forceful reality checks. They might be the laughter in a friendly moment or the discomfort of meeting a stranger. Our challenge is to see in the moments of our life the message the Holy Spirit is trying to offer us.
There is a story in the Bible about a man named Simon who misunderstands the message of the Holy Spirit. He witnesses the power the Holy Spirit gives to Peter and John and offers them money to basically try to buy the Spirit's power. Obviously, he can't. The Holy Spirit is not something that we can earn, control or buy. Its message isn't about a power we can manipulate for our own advantage. (This is why televangelists who financially benefit from preaching to the masses give religion a bad name). But those who are connected to God as love, receive a message that is free for all and benefits everyone, no matter a person's status or role.
I pray that this week, as you pass by the digital sign at the church, the message you receive will be one reminding you that You are a Beloved Child of God, called to SpreadLove and offer Grace. May you understand the Holy Spirit's power with you and within you, continually giving you this message of love.