Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Holy Spirit: the Teller, told by his Tale

The Word for today:
Genesis 24:61-25:34
For the longest time, I was troubled by the sense that I did not know the Holy Spirit. That bothered me and worried me, until I found out that the Holy Spirit never seeks to make himself known.
The most sustained picture of the Holy Spirit in all of scripture is found in Genesis 24. It is the picture of an unnamed servant who ventures forth to procure a Bride for the Son of Promise.
He's the Advance Man for Jesus--just as he was from the beginning, when he contemplated the shapeless darkness, and readied the earth to receive the Light:
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. (Genesis 1:2-3)
He's the Advance Man today, as he moves over the surface of a dark, broken world, preparing the soil for the seed:
I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment. (John 16:7-8)
He doesn't need a name, because he never shines the light on himself. Rather, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to draw attention to Jesus Christ:
But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall take what is mine and show it unto you. (John 16:13-14)
I can hear him, later that evening in Genesis 24, as he excitedly and poignantly tells them all about the Son--about the prophecies of his miraculous birth, about his brave willingness to be sacrificed when that's what his Father thought best. "There's no one like him," I can hear him say. "The whole world will be blessed by him!"
I can hear him telling about the fabulous riches the Son will inherit. I can see him distributing splendid gifts all around: "And these are next to nothing; there's far more where these came from!"
I didn't think I'd ever know the Holy Spirit until it occurred to me that every day, as I bang this keyboard to tell Jesus' story, I'm in the Presence of the Spirit at work.
Because I'm an advance man, too. And maybe, so are you. We're here to bang the drum for another, and to bring his bride home.
The Bible is rich with irony. And one of its dearest ironies is that we come to know the Teller by the way he tells his Tale.
So, though his Tale is never about himself, I've come to know the Spirit through his telling. I may never know his name, but I'm in awe, in thrall, and in love with his selfless heart.

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