Aren't we Holy Spirit People?
I'm not sure when it happened, but I think the Methodists have drifted from being Holy Spirit people. Before you stop reading, give me 5 minutes to make my case. Years ago, the Methodists were driven in every decision by the Holy Spirit. They were known in worship as being charismatic. We identified ourselves as equally honoring all three persons of the Trinity.
But somewhere along the way, our culture shifted. We started focusing on praying only in the name of Jesus and stopped talking to our children about the Holy Spirit. We have even dumbed-down the process of salvation to the phrase "Ask Jesus into your Heart." We have told people that their sinful life is ok because we are all sinners.
No, don't get me wrong. God loves us where we are in this moment. That's the incredible thing about Grace. But what's even more incredible is that he doesn't leave us where we are. He doesn't want us to be sinners, saved, that still act like sinners. He wants change.
The only way we can change our life is through the power of the Holy Sprit. The Holy Spirit which dwells within us gives us the power to commune with God. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome Satan's temptations. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to love others with a holy love.
What about Jesus?
You might be wondering right now where Jesus comes into this? The reason I think we've left the Holy Spirit out so much is because we don't want to think about the complicated nature of the Trinity. Jesus made it possible for God's Spirit (the Holy Spirit) to dwell within us. In the Old Testament, the Sprit is seen as a cloud. Because of Jesus' death and resurrection, the Spirit now lives within us allowing us to commune directly with God. Jesus sits in heaven with the Father petitioning on our behalf.
There are some passages that make it sound that the Holy Spirit is Christ's Spirit, but according to our Trinitarian Theology, each person of the Trinity is unique and also God. That means, The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the Father. Yet, all three are God. They act independently of each other and play their own roles.
How do we talk about it?
The first step to understanding the Holy Spirit is to not be afraid to talk about him (or her, whatever you prefer). You can ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength when you feel you are being temped. We should also talk about this with our children. Just because we adults have a hard time understanding the Trinity doesn't mean we should keep it from our kids. The sooner they start to hear about it, the sooner they will grasp it.
The Holy Spirit is the way God gives us power over sin in our life. We can use that power to live a holy life according to God's will. That's something children can understand.
Faith Parry serves as our Associate Pastor, and has been at the church since 2015. When she's not preaching and teaching, she enjoys documentaries and TV. Read more about Faith here.