1 Corinthians 2:1-13
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.
The Holy Spirit, someone once told me, is best described as the love between God the Father and God the Son set loose upon the world. I like that idea. The Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, is love coursing through the world trying to pry open souls, touch hearts, and change lives. If the church has any lasting power, then the power of the church is the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that enables us to be more noble than we thought possible. It is the Spirit that enables us to give more to others than feels comfortable. It is the Spirit that enables us to welcome the stranger and embrace the sinner in ourselves and in our community. Never overlook the importance of the Holy Spirit.
The authors of Genesis described the Spirit of God as a wind that blew across creation and gave life to all things. This wind, ruach in Hebrew, is the breath that first filled Adam’s lungs. In this sense, we are literally kept alive by the Spirit of love. It is love that keeps our hearts beating and our minds working. The goal of our lives is to live not only “by” this Spirit of love, but “in” it as well. To pray for its presence, to recognize it stirring in our hearts, to respond to its prodding. It is as close as our own breath, more powerful than the strongest hurricane, and the very thing that makes our humanity possible
O Holy Spirit by whose breath life rises vibrant out of death; come to create, renew, inspire; come, kindle in our hearts your fire.
You are the seeker’s sure resource, of burning love the living source, protector in the midst of strife, the giver and the Lord of life.
In you God’s energy is shown, to us your varied gifts make known. Teach us to speak, teach us to hear; yours is the tongue and yours the ear.
Flood our dull senses with your light; in mutual love our hearts unite. Your power the whole creation fills; confirm our weak, uncertain wills.
From inner strife grant us release; turn nations to the ways of peace. To fuller life your people bring that as one body we may sing:
Praise to the Father, Christ, his Word, and to the Spirit: God the Lord, to whom all honor, glory be both now and for eternity. Amen.