Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Praxis - What we believe about the Holy Spirit

     Here’s something wonderful, and baffling, yet essential about God:  We are invited to think of God as Creator – but that God is so unfathomably gigantic, cradling the vast expanses of the universe in the palm of God’s hand… and then we think of God come down to earth in the human being Jesus – but he didn’t travel far, he died fairly young, and that was centuries ago.

     God also is God the Holy Spirit.  God the Spirit is as close as the breath you just took.  God is in your head, whispering faint messages.  This Holy Spirit won’t let Jesus be forgotten, but keeps Jesus alive for us right now.  God the Spirit makes things grow – including you and me.

     There is only one God, but God is too complex and magnificent to be merely one; God is love, and the primal love is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, eternal love, inviting us into their holy circle.

     Some Christians confuse the Holy Spirit with a rush of emotion.  Lots of emotions gush that are not of God; and the Spirit is richly present if you ‘feel’ nothing at all.  The Spirit isn’t something a few possess, and the Spirit isn’t in one place but not another.  The Holy Spirit is God right here (and over there), right now, active, delighting in praxis, making us attentive to everything as a manifestation of the divine.  This Spirit was there when the world was made, and when you were conceived – which is why the Spirit is sad when we miss out on God’s presence in simple things, and happy when we notice God in our routine, and choose to do small (or big) things for God.

     The Holy Spirit inspires, and urges us to action.  The Holy Spirit convicts and judges us, exposing our sin, forgiving, and even fixing our souls.  The Holy Spirit provides flashes of insight when we read Scripture or pray, and teaches us what really is true.  The Holy Spirit comforts us, and carries us when we can’t stand up on our own.  The Spirit prays for us and even in us when we can’t, or won’t, or don’t know how:  “The Spirit helps us in our weakness, with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).

     The Spirit stays busy striving to make us holy, so we might be cleaner, purer, our thoughts, words and actions more pleasing to God.  The Spirit is God in our time – and tomorrow we’ll look closely at the praxis of how we budget our time…