We Believe in the Holy Spirit . . . Right?

If the activity of the Spirit is not "spiritual" (in the Gnostic sense of invisible, immaterial, and disembodied), then we are experiencing the Spirit whenever we are working along with God and seeking his Kingdom and righteousness. The work of the Spirit is everywhere present: in soup kitchens, hospitals, schools, community centers, mission and social work and, of course, in the Church itself.

The Spirit creates a unity in diversity, a presence of the new and different, a transformation of our selves in community, a re-direction of mission and conviction. The fruits of the Spirit include love, joy, peace, and faithfulness, but they also result in communities of people and coalitions of churches who are satisfied with nothing less than righteousness and justice and who prophetically advocate for the oppressed and for the "least of these." In short, the work of the Spirit leads to God-intoxicated, kingdom-inspired people.

Trinitarian theology tells us that where any one of the three persons is working, they all are. So where the Spirit is, there is Jesus, and where Jesus is, there is the Father. There are good reasons to enrich our God-language and to long for, in a focused way, the purifying, healing, and reconciling power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, our churches, and our work on behalf of the world. If we are not experiencing the Spirit in manifest and transformational ways, neither are we are experiencing the transforming presence of Jesus, the Father, or of that which Jesus called the Kingdom of God.

Winter is over. Spring has come. May we also, and with far greater significance, witness a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in our midst.

We proclaim in our creed, "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life . . ." And we should ask ourselves: Do we really?

4/11/2011 4:00:00 AM