“Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:2 NIV
The Spirit comes like a violent wind, that blows where it wills (John 3:8). But it also dwells in silent pauses that come to us amid the clamor of our stormy lives.
Pentecost is always an invitation to meditate upon the nature of the Holy Spirit. In the ancient prayers of the Eastern Church, the Holy Spirit is prayed to directly and invoked thusly in the Epiclesis: “O Heavenly King, The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things: Treasury of blessings and Giver of life- come and abide in us…” (Trisagion). But what is the Holy Spirit, and what is the work of the Spirit in us? One view I recommend is that of Kyle Hughes, author of the book How the Spirit Became God. In his recent piece in the Anglican Compass, Hughes discusses the conflicting views of the Spirit as either a person or an impersonal “force.” He writes:
“Through the centuries, the experience of the Holy Spirit has been a central feature of the Christian life. While different traditions have at times emphasized different aspects of this experience, the church has always maintained that it is the Spirit who is the “giver of life,” who leads us into becoming ever more like Christ.
The Spirit, though, will not transform us into Christ’s likeness against our will… For the early Christians, cultivating this relationship meant intentionally engaging with spiritual disciplines such as silence and solitude, allowing ourselves to create spaces in which we can hear the still, small voice of the Spirit.”Anglican Compass
Hughes goes on to say, “The mission for us, then, should we choose to accept it, is to learn to quiet our minds and be filled with the Spirit.”
I recommend taking a moment to read more of Hughes’s thoughts at Anglican Compass. But I also recommend coming to PraXis tomorrow, Wednesday at 6:30 pm, at St. Peter’s parish hall. There we hope to still the noise of the body and the mind as we sit in silence with the God who
dwells above us as the Father,
among us as Christ,
and within as the Holy Spirit.
I hope you can make it.