Our Bible study over the last month has been about the Holy Spirit. We often talk about God the
Creator/Father, and Jesus the Son/Redeemer, but how often do we think about the Holy Spirit? It can seem
like such an odd idea. I have had more than one person ask me, “Why do we even need the Holy
Spirit?” In chapter 15 of the Gospel of John, as Jesus prepares the disciples for his departure, he says to
them: “it is to your advantage that I go away.” I am sure the disciples did not see Jesus going away as a
good thing. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Jesus were still among us? That we could go directly to him, to ask
questions, to seek wisdom, to listen to him talk about our world and what we need to do to find meaning?
Can you imagine the crowds that would show up to simply touch the hem of his garment, to listen to his
wisdom, to be healed? In Jesus’ day the crowds were often so crushing that there were times that he simply
had to leave. Today it would be far worse. Even the largest stadium in the world, open continuously, could
not hold the number of people that would come. There would be no chance to have an intimate
relationship with Jesus as the disciples did when their numbers were so small.
After his death and resurrection Jesus knew that each disciple would need to go out on his or her own. His
Word would need to be brought to the very edges of the world. One physical person could not accompany
all of them – and Jesus knew the faith would grow. There would be hundreds, and then thousands, and
eventually even millions of disciples bringing the Word of Christ to all corners of the earth. There had to be a
way for all disciples to access Christ’s wisdom and strength. Jesus knew that would come to everyone
who sought it through the Holy Spirit.
Often today we lose sight of how important the Holy Spirit is in our spiritual lives. I have heard the Holy
Spirit compared to a modern day GPS, which we use in our cars to guide us to places. It is a pretty good
comparison, but the Holy Spirit is so much more. With a GPS you need to enter an address if it is to take you
there. In real life we are not even sure of our destination. We don’t know what roads to take and we
don’t know where we are going. God knows where we are meant to be. And with the help of the Holy Spirit
we can get there.
The disciples had the opportunity to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. We too have the same
opportunity, but as Christians we believe that opportunity comes through the Holy Spirit. When
Jesus walked out dusty roads, taught us, healed us, and went to the cross to show the depth of love God has
for every human being – though many had an opportunity to see him, the numbers were truly
limited. Today with the Holy Spirit there is no limit to what we can learn, and where we can go.
As a Christian community we also believe that we seek the direction of the Holy Spirit together. St. Paul
taught that we must always live as community seeking God’s Word together with mutual respect and love of
all members of the community. Let us all join together to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that we may find our true destination in a world filled with dead ends, and lack of hope. Through the love of God, the
grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the ever present nature of the Holy Spirit let us forge our way
through what often feels like a wilderness to the promises of peace and meaning given to every person
in the world.