Be sure to read our weekly reflection. A lot of this post comes from the book I link there.
I have always known it to be true, but this past Sunday I realized what a true super hero my wife is. For Mother’s Day, I gave her a day off. No getting up early with kids, no chores to do, no food to cook, no butts to wipe – a day to herself to do the things she wanted to do. So I spent the day doing what she does on a normal day.
There is a perseverance and sacrificial spirit moms possess that I think only moms understand. The rest of us can see it and appreciate it, but we cannot truly understand it.
We often talk of the pain of child-birth and the toll it takes on a mom. Again, this is something only moms understand. But the idea of giving and sacrificing and putting yourself through pain and difficulty so new life can happen is a process that never stops.
My wife does it every day at home with my children. All moms do, no matter what their occupational status. And it never stops. My mom still does it for me. Her mom still does it for her.
And all this is done to bless and take care of their children. To help their children become loving, healthy, and mature adults. A mom’s job is not simply to give birth. It is to help them grow.
I mention this, not because Mother’s Day was last Sunday, but because this is the work of the Spirit.
One of the best metaphors for how the Spirit works is a Mother. The Spirit’s job is to create new life. To birth new life. And often this can be a painful process. If we want new life, we often have to get rid of the ways of the old life. This can be painful. But it is always life-giving. And it is the motherly work of the Spirit.
But the work of the Spirit is never done. It is moving us somewhere. Just like being a mom does not stop at birth, the work of the Spirit is not a one-and-done kind of deal. We don’t just have it and that is the end of the story. The Spirit is constantly moving, shaping, pruning, and helping bring new life. As a mother loves, shapes and helps a child become an adult, the Spirit works in the same way.
The Spirit is going somewhere.
The readings this week end with a beautiful picture of the new heavens and new earth. This is the new life unhindered. This is where we are headed.
So the work of the Spirit is to help us live like that right now. We don’t have to wait. We can experience it now. There are constantly new areas of growth in this, but we can experience that kind of life in this very moment.
So the Spirit keeps working. The Spirit endures our screw-ups and selfishness and completely missing the point.
But She keeps moving. The Spirit never stops the work in our life. Ever.
This often requires sacrifice and selflessness and even pain and difficulty. But the Spirit works within all of that: suffers with us, groans with us, endures with us and loves us into a new future.
As we look towards Pentecost and make room for the Spirit, we have to realize Pentecost is not just a day. It is the beginning. A starting place. It is a birth. But the birth is not the point. The point is to grow. The Spirit’s nature is to move and grow. Perhaps this is why Pentecost leads into ordinary days. The Spirit wants to walk with us in the ordinary places of life and to bring the new heavens and new earth into are hearts and into the ordinary places we find ourselves.
May we never be settled where we are and may we allow God’s motherly love to pull us into a more beautiful future.