WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT

Prayer intro – Romans 8: 26-27  All authentic prayer, whether praise, worship, thanksgiving, intercession or the prayer of silent contemplation or loud praise – it is all the movement of the Spirit deep within us, as individuals or as a community.
Today a Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse 

[1] Difficulties in speaking the Holy Spirit – the ‘unknown’ of the Trinity. How does the Bible speak of the Spirit?

 Gen 1: 1-2 ’Hovering Spirit’ at Creation.   Gen 8: 9-12 In the story of Noah and the Flood, the Dove over the waters – (appears again at the Baptism of Jesus) – all three stories images speak of New Creation (Psalm ‘Send forth your Spirit O Lord and renew the face of the earth!’) –  movement, energy, creativity, peace.

Holy Spirit as ‘Ruah Gen 2: 7 – breath, breeze, wind (relating to ‘hovering’ – movement) – Holy Spirit received at our conception – we are human because of the Holy Spirit the breath of God within us.
Ezechiel 37: 4-10    breath mentioned seven times! ‘Come from the four winds, breath’  – double ‘prophesying’ and the Dry Bones become an ‘army of the Lord’  – The Spirit, Ruah, gives life, raises from the dead, rebuilds community from the ruins, renews. We can also see here an image and prophecy of the Church gathered and brought to life by the Holy Spirit, empowered for the Mission of the Gospel.
John 19: 28-30 Crucified Christ breathes out his Spirit as he dies – His life continues in us. He shares His Spirit through the ‘Paschal Mystery’ the Easter Event
Acts 2: 1-2 the mighty wind of the Spirit – blowing fears away giving courage and energy to witness – birth of the Church of Mission and Proclamation

Holy Spirit as Water   Ezechiel 36: 24-28 Water that cleanses, purifies, gives a new heart, a new life – water: quenches thirst, cleanses, irrigates and gives growth; gentle pool that refreshes and cools in the heat; mighty flood (Noah) that at once destroys (purifies) and recreates (fertile flood plains); water the origin of all life forms
Ezechiel 47: 1-12 the stream from the right side of the Temple that becomes a flood that transforms desert into fertile land, the Dead Sea into a living sea teeming with fish, trees with leaves for the healing of the nations! (echoed in the Book of Revelation)
John 19: 34-35 Christ’s right side pierced flowing with blood for redemption and water – the Holy Spirit giving life, falling on the ground
John 4: 10-15 Jesus and the Woman of Samaria – Jesus thirst and gift (as on Cross) a fountain welling up within giving life, mercy, healing – making a new person (John 3: 4-5 – Nicodemus ’born again of water and the Holy Spirit’)  

Holy Spirit as Fire Exodus journey – Fire on the Mountain of the Covenant, cloud by Day and Pillar of Fire by night leading and sheltering the people as they journey
1 Kings 18: 20-39  esp v38 Elijah on Mt Carmel, the fire that convicts the people of their sin and brings them back to faith
Acts 2: 3-4 Pentecost event – fire descending upon the first community – fire to transform and purify, fire to energise and burn love into the hearts fire of courage.

The Holy Spirit is always energy, transformation, new beginnings, life-giving and love bearing

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