June 4, 2017
Epistle: Acts 2: 1-11
Gospel: John 14:15-31
“The Purpose of the Spirit”
In order to the know the purpose of a thing (or a person), you must have a good idea of what it (or whom) it is. First of all, the Holy Spirit is not a thing, but a person. He is the third person of the Trinity. His life is vibrant and part of the nature of God. The Lord sent His Holy Spirit to the Apostles on Pentecost. As baptized Christians, we have likewise been infused with the Spirit of God who dwells in us richly, by His grace and mercy.
So, the question remains, as to what is His purpose? Why does He dwell within the Church of God – Christians?
We know from last week’s celebration of Christ’s Ascension, that He is no longer “here” on earth. He has ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father. While a hard concept to understand, we trust that He has gone to present His support of our salvation and offer Himself to the Father on our behalf. In today’s Gospel lesson, Jesus tells us that because he will no longer dwell with us, He will send His Spirit to provide for us wisdom and guidance into all Truth. The Greek word He uses (paraklete) is sometimes translated “comforter” or “teacher”. It seems to refer to a type of tutor that would take young men, educate them in scholastics and morals, and train them on how to be proper citizens of the world. Likewise, the Lord sends His Holy Spirit to guide us and help us develop the skills of being mature children of God.
The Spirit of God unites His Church and melds us into His Family, and His Body. We become – we are – the Body of Christ through the operation of the Holy Spirit. When others experience us in this world, they encounter Jesus Christ because we are His embodiment and Bride. We then must stand united and loving towards one another and the world, presenting to the world the glory of God through our relationship with Him and one another. As we live the Christian life and are infused with His Holy Spirit, the world will take notice and beg to know more about our Heavenly Father.