Is it to experience it?
Ask yourselves these questions
1/ Has anyone felt guided?
2/ Has anyone felt enabled by the holy spirit
3/ Has anyone had something happen just at the right time and thought – I know who did that
4/ Does anyone have any story they would like to share about how the Hs has worked in their lives?
Have a little think about these please – I’ll have a couple as well??
Today I wanted to talk about the experience of the holy spirit, how we experience it. Next week is Trinity Sunday, where pastors all over the world will try and explain a mystery. A dynamic relationship. Luckily today I am only doing that with one part of the trinity and that is the gift we were given in Pentecost.
Albeit I think explaining a mystery a bit of a zero-sum game. How do you try and logically explain something that defies logic, and every metaphor comes up short. Possibly another way is to talk about how we experience it? What do the limitations of our senses and intellect make of how we experience it
I think the best way to know the holy spirit is to look at the results of its actions. The church is well versed in that as you would expect. It uses its ability to spot the spirit in action to direct people to their calling. Oh Mick sits in Costa, wanting to talk about Jesus, that makes him an evangelist and a spin off of that desire is the desire to preach. Both of them are desire to tell people about him.
Also, we give names to the things stuff we do, naturally
I found out that my constant chatter with Jesus and bringing him to mundane stuff and being aware of him was like very Benedictine practice.
This evidence is used by the church a lot, to find out what God is wanting you to do and what you will fit naturally into. No good calling a guy called to the fringes, into a church for his main duties. The spirit is persistent, and fighting it chafes until we follow.
I tried to listen and the church showed me ways I could find an outlet for this calling.
In our prayer of Jesus last week, Jesus quite clearly says that us disciples were chosen by God and given to Jesus. Chosen and Given, how do those that have been chosen know how to act, what our calling is ? Well, here we all are today for one. Evidence of the agent of the holy spirit, directing people given to Jesus to follow him.
Then you find stuff out like this. A study that happens every few years and takes in a large number of people showed this
- There’s been a 40% increase in an awareness of God,
- A 90% increase in people attributing things to God
- An 80% increase in the awareness of a sacred presence. (These stats are from a large study done by the CofE).
you would expect these numbers to come from people of the church or some faith or another?
You would be wrong, they come from unchurched people of no faith, or even atheists.
So Gods chattering away through the holy spirit to all sorts its seems!
So the holy spirit is not just for the saved, its talking to everyone. However, the world lacks a name for it, even a direction of where to find out, just as I did before I came in through that door
As Christians, Scripture and our readings today give us a name for what the world calls “an awareness of a sacred presence”.
The holy spirit – we have seen its evidence and influence
The holy spirit
We seek it through prayer, we hopefully find it in here.
Without doing Trinity Sunday before next Sunday, the agent in the trinity.
Its hard to overestimate the importance the holy spirt in scripture its everywhere, 18 times in 8 chapter in romans alone!
It’s referred to in the bible as a he, in scripture its always referred to in male terms, make of that what you will, it’s never seen as lesser, it is seen as a deity a god, so an equal partner. Not less than the father and the Son, in fact in some ways more.
More fully personal integrated into us, more aware of itself and the person, an agent of Christ that enables and gives gifts,
Like us the holy spirit has its own gifts, and it gives gifts
In our stories today, it acted as a global translator, In other stories of the bible It gives gifts of teaching, prophecy, faith, strength, being able to tell true and false spirits, healing, of doing powerful works (see a bloke who got unclassified in maths passing a theology diploma for details)
It’s the thing that binds us into a church, Christ being in us happens through the spirit.
And as our study showed it’s chattering away with all of humanity, and not just us in here today.
However, We know who’s chattering, we know to listen, and we try and listen, we are hopefully more aware?
here’s the ask for todays sermon, here’s the thing. Maybe having had a few thoughts on it, seen how powerful and important and unique the holy spirit is, equal partners, with and in dynamic relationship with God and Jesus,
here’s the ask
We can also , maybe we could and perhaps should try and get better at being with and aware of the holy spirit.
With all that it can do? Who wouldn’t want the gifts it can bestow?
How? Can we tell that?
well it can just happen , in our lives, in ways we don’t expect of course, like it does in the rest of the world, where God works through the spirit. Before we name it in hindsight
But to get better at it, how can we do that?
Its really simple, how we get better at it…
How we practically increase our awareness, our ability to react to its proddings
We can pray for it
We can ask it into our quiet moments.
What we ask for in prayer if it happens , happens through the holy spirit
Remember it doesn’t have to be a posh prayer, or a formal one, lord knows I prayed to Jesus enough times in a sort of hello mate sort of way, in my normal speech for a long time. You can too. It works… Maybe not in the way we expect, like wind and tongues of flame in our stories today, it has a will of its own.
But with all the gifts it can bestow, I think we should learn to call and listen to the holy spirit.
Give it a go… the spirit
The agent in the trinity.