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One Sunday morning, Benson’s mother went into his bedroom to wake him up. “Benson, it’s Sunday morning. Time to get up and go to church!” Benson mumbled from underneath the covers, “I don’t want to go.”
His mother said: “That’s silly. Now get up and get dressed and go to church.”
Benson said: “No, I don’t want to go; and I’ll give you two reasons why I don’t want to go. First, I don’t like them and second, they don’t like me!”
His mother replied: “Now that’s just plain nonsense. You’ve got to go to church and I’ll give you two reasons why you must. First of all, you’re forty years old. And second, you’re the pastor.”
Benson is like the Apostles and Disciples of Jesus. Jesus had commissioned them to go out to all the world and preach the 'Good News'. But as soon as Jesus left them, they went back to the Upper Room where they had the Last Supper and hid. They were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Like Benson, they knew that some people did not like them and their message was different from the popular message of the time. The followers of Jesus just felt like wrapping themselves up in bed and avoiding facing a hostile society.
But fortunately, Benson had a guide, a helper, a mother who wakes him up, who persuades him to go out and preach.
We also have a guide, a helper, God’s Holy Spirit who shakes us awake and encourages us to go do what the Lord has commanded us to do. We have God’s Holy Spirit who may not give us 12 different languages to learn, but will give us the right words to say, in any situation, if we but ask.
One of the best stories that illustrates how the Holy Spirit works with us is the story of a mother who brought her five year old little boy to hear the great Polish pianist Ignatsi Paderewski. She hoped that the experience would encourage the boy’s young efforts at music.
As mother and son sat there waiting for the concert to begin, the mother turned around and began speaking to the people sitting behind them. When she turned back around, she realized her son was no longer sitting next to her. As she looked around frantically, she finally saw her son sitting on the stage at the piano playing with one finger “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Before she could jump up and whisk her son off the stage, Paderewski came up behind the boy and whispered in his ear “Don’t stop, keep playing.” Paderewski reached around with his left hand and filled in the base line. Then he reached around with his right hand and played the higher notes. The two played for ten minutes. When they finished, they received a standing ovation. Years later when people recalled that musical concert, no one could remember any of the other pieces Paderewski played. But no one ever forgot “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.
We are like that little boy – young in our faith – lacking in our knowledge of how to spread God’s Kingdom – plucking away with one finger: “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. And of course the great Polish pianist is like the Holy Spirit – coming upon us – encircling us with love – whispering encouragement to us – transforming our feeble human efforts into something beautiful.
All we need do is ask – “Come Holy Spirit…”
Then and only then will we be able to hear God’s Holy Spirit whisper to us:
“Don’t Stop – Keep Playing!”
Peace be with you,