Sunday, May 21, 2017

Come on Holy Spirit....

I'm still on this "God is not big enough" riff.

In today's gospel from John, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit--an Advocate--to his disciples.

It's like angels...people have so domesticated angels that we should give them an angel litter box and an angel dog bone. Household pets is what angels are these days. People scatter them around their homes, wear them as jewelry, send them on cards, all sorts of stuff we do to angels.

Yet search the scriptures and see what angels were depicted as.

I remember, as a child, thinking that whenever an angel showed up people bowed down to worship.

It wasn't that at all. Human beings simply got knocked off their feet when 'the Holy Ones' appeared. Angles were bad hombres (as our President has said about Mexicans!) and you got your face on the pavement when they showed up!

Back in my Pilgrim Holiness days as a child, I still remember the chorus to a hymn that went like this: "Come on, Holy Spirit...Come on, Holy Spirit...But don't stay long!!!"

Pilgrim Holiness folk were not folks who got 'slain in the Spirit' or spoke in tongues. They were out of the Methodist Church and out of the more theologically conservative Wesleyan Church that broke with the Methodists. But they hadn't gotten into glossolalia or any of that stuff.

Probably because they knew full well the power of the Holy Spirit and asked it to 'not stay long'.

I get really turned off when Christians say, "do you have The Spirit?"

YOU don't 'have the Spirit'--the Spirit would HAVE YOU and turn you upside down and inside out if it hung around too long....

We've put God and The Spirit into easily handled, conceptualized and explained boxes. Just like Angels.

(I remember the burial of a still born baby on a brutally cold day when the parents realized the florist has spelled 'angel' in 'our little angel' as 'angle'. Since they had know for several months their baby was dead, it was the first time they'd giggled in a long, long time.)

Angle indeed. God is too small. The Holy Spirit will fry you right up if you get too small.

We need to abandon our concepts about God and the Spirit and Angels and Holiness and realize that we need all that in ways we do not and can not understand!

We need Holiness that is truly HOLY and beyond our comprehension and wild beyond our ability to believe in 'wildness'.

Pentecost is in two weeks. The Spirit blew like a hurricane and burned like a volcano.

We need to simply acknowledge the incomprehensibility that is God....

That's what I need to ponder in these dark days. I invite you to as well....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.