Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Linkage: The Holy Spirit in the Church

For many Christians the Holy Spirit is overlooked because we just don't know what to make of Him.  Part of the reason is the way some Christians treat the Holy Spirit seems silly and unreal.  Another part of the reason is because we tend to view Jesus' death and resurrection as the climax of God's plan of redemption.

This link is to a transcript of a talk N. T. Wright gave on the Holy Spirit and His work in and through the church.  I hope that it will help you understand the role of the Spirit in our lives a little bit better.

I am delighted to be speaking at this first Fulcrum conference, and am very grateful to Francis Bridger and his colleagues for inviting me, and to Graham Kings and the staff here at St Mary's for their hospitality. It is twenty-five years since I last spoke here, at one of the old Islington Conferences, and I trust I shall look back on this day with as much pleasure as I now look back on that one. 
I want you to imagine for a moment that you have just thrown open the window on a glorious spring morning. A fresh breeze is stirring around the garden. In the distance there is a crackle of bonfire as a farmer clears away some winter rubbish. Out in the field, a skylark is hovering over its nest. All around, there is a sense of creation throwing off its wintry coverings and getting ready for an outburst of new life. 
All these are images the early Christians used to describe something strange but real and central to their lives. They spoke of a powerful wind rushing through the house and entering them. They spoke of tongues of fire resting on them and transforming them. They picked up, from the ancient creation story, the image of a bird brooding over the waters of chaos to bring order and life to birth. 
How else do you explain the inexplicable, except in a rush of images from the world we already know?

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