United Church of Christ

The Forgotten God

"I have said these things to you while I am still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom [God] will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." - John 14:25-27

One of the reasons I identify so strongly as a Trinitarian, a person who believes that God is Parent/Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit, is my love for that last "person" of the Trinity. We understand the God who created the world and loves us as a parent. We recognize the Christ who was fully human and fully God. We don't, though, tend to talk about the Holy Spirit much in our tradition, and if we do we often fail to recognize that the Holy Spirit is God as well. 

I think that's too bad. For me, the Holy Spirit is often the way I best understand God. When Jesus was preparing for his Ascension, when he would no longer be physically present with the disciples and the early church, he told them that an "Advocate" was coming who would be their helper and guide. On Pentecost we celebrate the coming of this Advocate in the Holy Spirit, for one day wearing the color red that symbolizes them. But then? It's back to ordinary time, and we don't think much about the Holy Spirit at all.

The reality is that we should constantly be seeking the Holy Spirit. This is God who is with us everywhere and at all times. This is God who wants to guide us, give us courage, and help us grow. 

When we make decisions, both as individuals and as a church, we need that Holy Spirit more than ever. We need to be able to practice spiritual discernment by calling upon the Holy Spirit to guide us. When we make any big moves, we should reach out to the one Christ told us would be here for us; the one who is God in all of God's self, ready to lead us on.

We are not alone. And that is very good news indeed.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, guide me today. Show me where you want me to go, God, and remind me that you will always be beside me. Amen. 

dd-emilyheath.jpgAbout the Author
Emily C. Heath is the Senior Pastor of The Congregational Church in Exeter (New Hampshire) and the author most recently of Courageous Faith: How to Rise and Resist in a Time of Fear.

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