Posts Tagged ‘Holy Fire’
Pentecost Sunday: A Meditation upon the Holy Spirit
Pentecost. Wait. The Holy Spirit. Infilling. Consuming Fire. Breath of GOD. Trinity. Unity. Baptized with. Inhabited by.
These are just some of the thoughts and words that bounce around in my mind when I think of this day, Pentecost, and the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus that we could (and would) share His Spirit. I think of the implications of the Prayer of Jesus (John 17:1-26) and what it means to be filled with, guided and comforted by, submissive and obedient to, and always in the Presence of the Holy Spirit of GOD Almighty. The promise of holy relationship reconciled and restored; Trinitarian fellowship renewed and unbroken… this is what I think about and rejoice over when I consider Pentecost.
I am Driven and I am Drawn…
I am driven to pursue the promise that Jesus gave to us; the invitation he extended to His followers and all who would believe: “I pray for them… Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one… My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity” (John 17:9-23).
It is the express desire of Jesus, according to this most passionate prayer, that His followers would enter into the Triune Unity with the Godhead. I believe this. Accordingly, I do not believe that Jesus would pray for or ask for anything that was not possible and it was Jesus who said that “all things are possible with God.” While there might be argument about the context of that particular quote, Jesus was, in fact, speaking about salvation and my use of this quote (Triune unity with the Godhead) is the ultimate expression of salvation (Matthew 19:25-26).
We find it easy, normal even, to believe that Jesus was in unbroken fellowship with the Godhead. We expect and talk of Him with an understanding that He, Jesus, viewed everything from the perspective of the Father. Jesus’ own testimony to this expectation validates our beliefs and understanding (John 5:19-20; John 6:38; John 17:6-8). We also know that the greatest agony Jesus experienced was separation from the unity of the Triune Godhead (Gethsemane: Luke 22:24; Matthew 26:36-46. See also the Crucifixion: Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). What is it about this understanding and this picture of Jesus that draws me? The answer, I believe, is the Holy Spirit… the same Holy Spirit that dwelled in and empowered Christ, that Christ Jesus promised would come to dwell in and empower me, draws me.
I am Driven and I am Drawn…
I am driven and I am drawn to a relationship that is filled in the same capacity as that of my Savior Jesus. The thing that He agonized over was separation from the LIFE of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Do I feel agonized over the thought of separation from the Godhead? Jesus was continually drawn and lived in unbroken relationship with the Godhead… the question that begs asking of me is this; “Do I sense a continuous draw to grow deeper, more intimate, more passionate, more symbiotically and synergistically connected to the God in whom I say I live, move, and breath? (Acts 17:27-28).
It is the gift of God Who, in His mercy, completes the hidden and mysterious work of creation in us by enlightening our minds and hearts, by awakening in us the awareness that we are words spoken in His One Word, and that Creating Spirit (Creator Spiritus) dwells in us, and we in Him. That we are “in Christ” and that Christ lives in us. That the natural life in us has been completed, elevated, transformed and fulfilled in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Contemplation is the awareness and realization, even in some sense experience, of what each Christian obscurely believes: “It is now no longer I that live but Christ lives in me.” —Thomas Merton; New Seeds of Contemplation
Truthfully, I fall terribly short from this continuous experience, but falling short does not keep me from striving for it. As I have read, studied, and prayed over Scripture, I am fully convinced this expectation to live as Christ is what God has intended for us. We are Sons and Daughters of God; we are Brothers and Sisters of the First Born Son of God. The blessed Holy Spirit is the gift to us enabling and empowering each of us to live as Christ. This is Pentecost; this is the promise; this is the reality of the Holy Spirit, God with us, and Christ in us. We live as Christ. I am driven to Him and I am drawn to Him, so I might live as Him… as He promised.
The final question I have and the challenge before us all is this: Do we live with this hunger? Do we live with this driving, drawing, burning desire in us, before us, and behind us? If we do not, I dare say there is something dreadfully wrong with our understanding. The message and the mission of Christ is not a cerebral conversion, not an intellectual affirmation. The Holy Spirit “coming upon you” is a metamorphosis, a transcending transformation to a new life…a new being and a new way of being. Personally, I refuse to believe otherwise. “You will receive power…” It seems to me, if we have this same Holy Spirit of God who is the Third Person of the Godhead dwelling within us, we would have this hunger…an inescapable yearning to be in whole and holy, pure and unbroken fellowship and relationship with GOD Almighty. If this doesn’t exist within us… something must be wrong in my estimation. My guess is there were hundreds of church sermons today that shared those words with tens of thousands of congregants who profess to believe and follow Jesus Christ. I wonder… How many of those believe they can live with the same power and personality as a Son or Daughter of the Most High God? I believe and it will be to my dying breath that I strain forward for that prize in this life until I cross over to whatever God has in store for me in the next. Amen.
O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.