We at Trinity Harlem are walking into a brand new season. As summer comes to a close, teachers and families gear up for the upcoming school year, and the season shifts, we felt compelled to launch a new season of our own. We call it Replenish and it’s a sermon series centered on revival and going deeper in our relationship with Jesus. We also launched our third service called Summer Nights! Yesterday was an incredibly freeing time of worship and learning about the authority of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Indeed, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Pastor Taylor encouraged us to allow the Holy Spirit a “Backstage Pass” into our lives. We all have a backstage and a front stage. The front stage is the image we project, including our social media pages and the facade we can sometimes put on to make it seem like everything is fine. We often focus on front stage, but neglect to take care of our our backstage area, our souls. But backstage facilitates and empowers the front stage. Much like a costume malfunction during a dress rehearsal, sooner or later, what’s going on backstage will come to light.
Backstage can be a dark, disorganized and often messy place. We can struggle with jealousy and envy, depression and suicidal thoughts, or other issues and the world would never know because very few people get to access that part of us. Those are the people who are truly sharpening us. We must wonder: who’s asking me about backstage, my heart and soul? We need those people in our lives. But more importantly, we must grant the Holy Spirit that access. We don’t have to hide our messes, our insecurities, our doubts, fears and worries.
During her message, Pastor Kristen shared a personal story about a time that as a young girl, she cried with a new friend at the altar. In the same way, the Holy Spirit feels what we feel and cries when we cry. He is our comforter. When we are the most hurt and broken, that’s when we need a comforter. Sometimes, we find comfort in all the wrong places and turn to pacifiers. Instead, we should turn to the Holy Spirit.
In John 14:26, Jesus says: “But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.”
In Acts 1:8, Jesus says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Without the power of the Holy Spirit, our message never even leaves our lips and we walk around completely oblivious of the light within us. We can be saved but still not free because we live veiled to the Holy Spirit. But Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There is nothing between us. Take comfort in that and walk in that light.
If you missed Summer Nights, you missed a treat! We welcomed new faces, saw more people decide to follow Jesus and were able to pray with community members in need. We're excited to see what more is in store. To say God is moving would be an understatement. Join us as we Replenish on Sundays at 10am, 12pm and 6pm. This is a special time and season to learn and grow more in the Lord.