From Pauses for Pentecost
Moses said to the Israelites,
“See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel, son of Uri,
the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,
and he has filled him with the Spirit of God,
with wisdom, with understanding,
with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—
to make artistic designs for work in gold,
silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones,
to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.
Have you noticed how often we “spiritualize” the work of the Holy Spirit? More often than not, when we speak about the Holy Spirit, we tend to confine the activity of God’s Spirit to what we do at church. We talk about the Spirit moving in a time of worship, speaking to us through the sermon, or giving us words when we pray with someone in need. These are the activities that come to mind when we think about being inspired, or filled, by the Holy Spirit. While these are certainly important aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit, we dare not limit the inspiration of the Spirit to churchy moments.
Carefully read again the Bible verse for today. Notice the kinds of activities in which the Holy Spirit is involved. The Holy Spirit is helping artists and craftspeople to work with greater competence and effectiveness. What wonderful good news this is for us today! As we go about our labor, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wants to mingle with the perspiration of our efforts, whatever our own particular craft or activity may be. The Spirit of God also wants to fill us with skill, ability, and knowledge so that we may also be more competent and effective in our work. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives goes far beyond Sunday worship. It extends into whatever we give our energy and effort to throughout the week.
I wonder what your work looks like each day. Whatever it is – teaching at school, running a business, working in a factory, nursing in a hospital, typing on a computer, caring for grandchildren, making meals for the family, looking after a small garden, selling your company’s product, managing an engineering or building project, playing a professional sport, fixing electrical or plumbing problems – the Holy Spirit wants to help you to do whatever you do a little bit better. Our daily work becomes our worship, and our worship becomes our daily work. Our lives, through the whole week, bring greater glory to God.
As you engage in your daily craft, ask the Holy Spirit to combine with your skill, ability, and knowledge so that you may work better.