Archive for December, 2019

Incarnation of the Spirit

Posted: December 12, 2019 by efenster in Ideas
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I was struck last week by something Rev. Tim Johnson said at a retreat I was at. Tim pointed out that in the Old Testament, God visited people–God meeting Adam and Eve in the garden, Abram and Sarai’s three visitors, Moses and the burning bush. During the period of the Gospels, God came in the flesh as Jesus Christ and walked among the people, the incarnation. And at Pentecost, God entered the people through the Holy Spirit.

He went on to pose this question: Are you intentionally cultivating a deep and profound relationship with the person living inside of you? For most of us at the retreat, we are very familiar with the God who visits and the God who comes (Jesus), but not so familiar with the God who lives inside us (the Holy Spirit). He challenged each us to intentionally get to know the Holy Spirit, to talk directly with the Holy Spirit, to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit better, and to allow the Holy Spirit to lead.

Ironically it took Jesus leaving before the Holy Spirit and its power came to His disciples. Jesus said, “Anyone who has faith in me will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). And right before he ascended from the earth he said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). What a a wonder that it took Jesus to de-incarnate in order for the Holy Spirit enter!

So, as we look forward to the miracle of Christmas, the incarnation of Christ, may we also take in the incredible miracle of the incarnation of the Holy Spirit in each of us. And may its power be unleashed through us in incredible, beautiful ways this season.

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development