Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Spirit of Jesus

During Lent we are thinking about the Apostle’s Creed
Traditionally Lent has been a time to prepare for baptism and the renewal of baptismal vows. The Apostles’ Creed contains the basic statements of Christian faith that Christians have traditionally affirmed at their baptism

The Apostle's Creed has three sections and the last one reads
I believe in the Holy Spirit
The holy catholic church
the communion of saints
the resurrection of the body
and the life everlasting

It may seem a curious hodge-podge of materials. Almost as if all of the left-over doctrines are just thrown in to make sure that the ground is covered!

But of course that is not what is going on.
Indeed the whole of the third section follows on in Trinitarian form.
I believe in God the Father
I believe in God the Son
and now
I believe in God the Holy Spirit

this church, communion, the promise of resurrection and the mystery of life in God
all flow out of the fact that we are born again (as Jesus promised) of the Holy Spirit

This third section is telling us about what God is doing now
and what God is looking to do in the future.
God is creating a universal community
(this is what the expression catholic church should be taken to mean)
open & inclusive
God is drawing together a community of chosen people the communion of saints
this is not an exclusive community, but an inclusive community (catholic)
of people who are chosen to be
what God wants them to be
the sign of this community is the resurrection of the body & everlasting life
At funerals I remind people that the Christian view of God and death
is not reincarnation, or oblivion, or meaninglessness
It is not that we somehow become a part of a universal spirit, and are assumed into God or the universe
We believe that we continue to have meaningful, unique and distinct life.
And just as God has cared for us and loved us since our conception (and perhaps before)
so, that care will continue into eternity
unique, distinct, personal.
this is The Life in the Spirit
It is what God is doing in us now and in the promise of the future

Take a little time to ask God to show you more about what the Spirit is working in you
What is it that God is calling you to be and do?
Can we pray to put aside our own limited view of life and embrace the vision and promise that God has for us?

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