When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.
-Acts 1:1-4, NIV (emphasis mine)
This week, we at Wesley Church will hold our annual “We Got Your Back” backpack festival, providing a tangible and practical expression of God’s love to families in our community. Obviously, Backpack (like everything else) will look a little different in this season of covid-tide. (The event will look more like a drive-through curbside pickup service than our typical throw-open-the-doors festival.) However, the core of the event, and the care and concern it demonstrates, will continue despite COVID-19.
As we count down to the day when we distribute filled backpacks to children in our community, I thought it could be meaningful to write devotionals inspired by the items in my “backpack” — the work bag I bring with me each time I go to the church. With 4 days to go til Backpack, today’s devotional is inspired by something I still carry around in my work bag: a flash drive.
“Why are you still using those things?” Keith asked, pointing at my flash drive. “Why don’t you just put everything on the cloud?”
Finally, I’ve started to make the switch. I do most of my written work on email or Google Docs. Everything I write — every sermon, every devotional, every agenda, every email — is stored somewhere in Google’s great and mysterious cloud server.
Yet for the first ten or so years of my ministry, I stored most of that work on a flash drive. (For the less techy among you: a flash drive is a removable piece of computer storage. Basically, it’s what made floppy discs obsolete.) Though it’s smaller than a pack of gum, it can hold thousands of documents, photos, videos, and more. Back then, my little flash drive held every advertisement I’d ever posted, every funeral I’d ever officiated, every sermon series I’d ever planned, and every newsletter article I’d ever written over ten years and three church appointments of ministry. It was valuable. No, strike that — it was invaluable. I would’ve rather lost my VISA card than my flash drive.
The “cloud” notwithstanding, I still keep those old flash drives in my work bag. I can’t bear to let them go. Besides, sometimes an old sermon or devotional or reflection will spark some new epiphany. So I keep them close.
Over the years, it seems that my little flash drives held a whole lot of power in my life… and that’s ironic, because flash drives don’t have any power source of their own at all. They don’t have batteries. They don’t need to be charged. A flash drive draws power from whatever device it’s plugged into. That’s how it works.
Hear that again. A flash drive doesn’t have its own power. It draws power from whatever it’s plugged into.
As this season — the season of Pentecost and the season of covid-tide — wears on, I’m mindful of the fact that we’re a lot like those little flash drives. We are people of God, the people of Christ, the people who bear Christ’s name and share Christ’s love. That’s a pretty powerful thing… but on our own, we feel inept. Unqualified. Ill-equipped. Surely, we don’t have the power to convey the gospel with courage and conviction, with passion and purpose. Surely, we don’t have the power to change lives, to change the world. Surely, we don’t have the power.
Surely… we do not. But the Holy Spirit does. And we are little flash drives, drawing power from whatever it is we’re plugged into.
So friends, plug into the Spirit. Plug into the Spirit’s power. Pray for the power and ability you need, the courage and opportunities you need, the will and the words you need, to share the gospel with someone else, to change someone’s life, to change God’s world. Plug into the Spirit’s power… and put the Spirit’s power to work through you.
Plug in, friends, and remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
- Learn about our church and its ministries: https://wesleychurch.com/
- Make a gift to support our mission: https://wesleychurch.com/giving-2/
- View our recent messages: https://wesleychurch.com/sermon-message-on-video/
- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/