The gifts She, the Spirit, gives us

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We have so many wonderful, deep thinkers in our congregation, and  David Thompson is one of them.   He offered the following reflection in June:

The Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know how to pray as we ought.
The Spirit intercedes for us, with sighs too deep for words.

As a child and young man I didn’t hear much about the Holy Spirit.
So it wasn’t until later in life that I began to appreciate this aspect of the Trinity.

I knew a lot about God the Father, the Creator,
and really got to appreciate the amazing hugeness and the intricate detailing
of what it takes to be the creator of everything.

But I never felt that parental link.
There was too much weird stuff about armies and rules
and who’s more powerful than who.

It reminds me of that saying about the Tzar.
You know, “God bless the Tzar but keep him far away from here.”

And I knew a lot about the Son. Jesus.
But I never really got chummy with him either.
Don’t get me wrong, I love him and all that,
wouldn’t want to live without him,
but it just doesn’t translate in that
“Personal Saviour” sort of way.

So, despite being a really nice Lutheran boy, I didn’t start getting personal with God until I started paying attention to the Spirit of God.

Now, there are lots of reasons why I get on so well with the Spirit, but I’ll mention only one now,
And that is that I get to call her “she”.
I can’t imagine why (ahem) but there is something about a feminine pronoun that just makes the whole idea of God more accessible to me.

And that’s a good thing too as I hope you’ll understand after I tell you about one of my meetings with God.

This particular encounter with God began 11 years ago.  11 years ago almost to this day, when my wife Lisa died.

When she died
I lost my wife.
And I also lost my mind.
And I lost what peace I had in the presence of God.

In my grief and my insanity I came to hate the Creator.
I truly wished that I had never been born.
and I held the Creator responsible for creating a world in which suffering was even possible, much less my own personal suffering.
God the Creator? Pftt. Out o’ there.

And Christ?
Christ the Redeemer hardly entered into it.
For such a long time my suffering was unendurable and seemed endless.
The notion of redemption wasn’t even a notion.
Christ? Also out o’ there.

Eventually of course, things changed.
The grief slowly became manageable.
The insanity slowly subsided.
Once again I was able to reflect on my relationship with God.

I find that I am still a bit skittish around the Creator and Redeemer,
but we are more than polite and things continue to improve.

The Spirit though is another story.
I’ve realized that she and I never had a problem through the whole episode.
She’s the Sustainer. And she———–sustained.

So She and I are tighter than ever.
She’s great company (when I can find her!).
She’s full of surprises, and sometimes is shocking.
And She leaves little gifts around for me to find and puzzle over.

Like the invitation that put me here,
 talking to you this morning.

Thank you.

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