Child of the kingdom,
be filled with the Spirit!
Nothing but “fullness”
thy longing can meet;
’Tis the enduement for life
and for service;
Thine is the promise,
so certain, so sweet.
“I will pour water
on him that is thirsty,
I will pour floods
upon the dry ground;
Open your hearts for
the gifts I am bringing;
While ye are seeking Me,
I will be found.”
This is the conclusions of an old hymn that brought me comfort as a boy. There is hope in hard times. There is a way forward that has nothing to do with deal making with the world, the flesh, or devils.
I was praying at the start of the week and vividly recollected this song from a Sunday night service in Penfield, New York. When the song began, long ago, everything else faded away and I can still experience that moment. The red carpet down the center aisle that led to the altar was a pathway that seemed to lead on to paradise. I can still feel the overwhelming peace as I turned Godward. If we wish to be children of the Kingdom, then we have to be faithful sons and daughters of the King. We need change in our beings. We are born with the image of God, but that clear image is obscured in us by the pollution of culture. Our divine heritage is hidden by our faults, our own grievous faults, but also systematic sinful structures.
We are told to consume, to do our duty to shop until we drop or until our credit is maxed out. Our holy days, our sports, our entertainment, our eduction, finally even our religion is commodified. Buy now. Give now. Our very selves are transformed into a brand. Imagine marketing self.
Philosophers like Plato and sages such as Moses and Saint James warned against the love of money or coveting the money of others. Stuff cannot satisfy, because all the stuff in the world, all the physical energy, matter, waves cannot make a single idea. We need spiritual answers to spiritual problems. Just as water is the answer to thirst, so spiritual water is the solution to spiritual thirst. You cannot solve a spiritual problem with a physical cure.
We need the fullness of the Spirit, nothing else can do.
Why? God’s Holy Spirit, the Holy Water for our souls, will refresh our weariness and make us fit for service. The dry land needs help. The watered land gives help. God sends His Holy Spirit to flood the dry ground, to give gifts, to answer the seeker. Allurements promise happiness, but make us dull witted. Intellectualism sells us on answers, but gives us hard hearts. The God who loves us promises both joy, needed drink in our thirsty days, and reason. He will not cut short our dialectic, our quest, our wondering, but God also will not allow us to wander in futility. He gives us the inheritance of the humanities, sciences, mathematics, and revelation. We need poetry, sweet water, and reason, pure water, and God is both joy and logic.
Think of this truth. Feel this comfort. The truth of God is joyous, the passion of the Christ is logical. We behold both grace and truth in the God-man Jesus Christ. The Father sends the Comforter, the fullness of the Spirit, to us when we are hurting. At times the truth of this strengthens us when only logic can hold against our sorrow. Other moment the joy of this nurtures us when only passion can hold against arid logic chopping.
Come Holy Spirit! Fill us and we will thirst no more.