Monday, July 6, 2009

The Holy Spirit as I Understand It

Let me preface this by stating the obvious - I am not a Biblical scholar. These are simply my very humble beliefs and understandings I wish to share with all of you. My beliefs and understandings are certainly non-sequitur on this subject as they are on almost everything. Also non-traditional are my ways of expressing said held beliefs. I hope you might understand and give me a little latitude and non-conventionalism that I may express myself in the only way I know.

The best analogy I can come up with for my understanding of the Holy Spirit is a "Prime Mover" and sustainer. I think we can infer from many Bible texts that it is an undercarriage of strength and the emotion that endears us to faith and gives us our appreciation and thankfulness of God's mercy and grace, A manifestation of God's love in the form of our feelings. As the third part of the Holy Trinity.

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word (ruwach, pronounced roo'-akh) was used when talking about the Spirit. This word literally means wind. In the New Testament the Greek word (pneuma, pronounced pnyoo'-mah) was used which means the breath or a breeze. We can literally think of the Holy Spirit as “the breath of God”. This to me is analogous to the air we breathe. It is all around us all the time and we live from it's infusion into our bodies. So I believe it is with the Holy Spirit. It is around us all the time, our faith and relationship to God live form it's infusion into our lives.

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out
of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit
of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

As an artist and writer, I constantly look for inspiration as a catalyst for my creativity. When we feel moved by a beautiful sunset, when we wonder over the delicate beauty of a flower, or any of our Lord's miracles of creation, it instills within us a warm feeling of love and appreciation. It is that emotion we artists look for when needing that special something which we can transmit to others by a visual, verbal or mental medium. Oftentimes, we use all 3 and when we can, that is when we have truly achieved great creativity. I think we can look at the Spirit as that feeling in us about our faith and the Spirit as what keeps our love with our Lord strong and present in our mind.

I also believe because at the end God will be experienced as a spirit of insight, said Isaiah. That probably the Spirit turns to individuals of unusual insight in this day. The Spirit turns to us artists, among others. The creative arts can be a powerful vehicle of the Spirit. we are often ignored by the public, we artist operate at the frontier of consciousness. I think my goal as an artist is to strike a responsive chord, by which we can sharpen human sensitivities, we can evoke the deepest longings of the heart, and we can reveal that which is hidden by using the subliminal language of shape, color and form. Whether it be shape, color and form of a particular medium, or if it be of the spoken and written word. At its most sublime, the creative process is a vehicle of tremendous spiritual power. At times we artists, when we return from the proverbial, literal or metaphorical mountaintop, are able to tell what we have seen in more colorful and easily envision-able words. I've found that all too often the arts become the exclusive avocation of the rich, as works of art are bartered in the marketplace, becoming slick symbols of status instead of sublime signals of the Spirit.

I also think that the Holy Spirit is the abiding relationship and constant presence we should feel with God that facilitates our interactions with Him. When one is strong in the spirit, there is no need to profess that verbally. The spirit should shine from each of us within whom it rests. Just as Jesus taught His followers not to use their spirituality to call attention to themselves as the priests of that time (and now) were known to do. He prayed in private. He specifically withdrew to a solitary place to avoid being distracted by others. We can follow His example by designating a quiet space for ourselves and schedule it at a time that we are less apt to be bothered by family, friends, and other distractions. It is during this time we can best utilize the Holy Spirit due to our undivided attention and comfortable knowledge of privacy. When we talk to a loved one about subjects completely private, we do not do so in public or loudly so that it can be seen by all, thereby ending it's private nature and that part of our private relationship with our loved one. The intrinsic value of that private relationship with our Lord is indeed the Holy Spirit at work.

Although this is off central subject, it brings into the conversation my aversion to prayer circles, prayer for a specific request by deacons, elders, or you choose the pronoun in front of a congregation. I believe it belittles individual prayer in the mind of the prayed for individual as well as conveys, (in my humble opinion) some sort of non-existent authority on these individuals. And I also see it as a bit pretentious. Premise here being maintaining a focus on God as the main idea, so that we can hear Him speak to us in return without a third party in the loop. This allows our faith to be strengthened individually as it should be using the Holy Spirit, not an earthly practice or ritual.One shouldn't feel that a prayer said in front of a congregation by a deacon, elder, etc. etc. should be heard any more louder or clearer than one prayed individually. Jesus didn't teach it. I don't do it. I don't however, brgrudge anyone who feels blessed by either giving or receiving said public prayer as long as their intentions are pure and they are at peace with God about it. Once again, only my belief and opinion, not a chastation.

I believe another analogy might be made as that of the Holy Spirit being the conduit through which the Love of our Father, our Redeemer and us are inextricably linked. The medium by which he transmits His love to us and the power which enables, strengthens and sustains our faith and our relationship with Him.

God Bless All,

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Gene.

    I agree with most of your opinion about the Holy Spirit, and respect our differences.

    My only additional comment is that He is much more accessible to us, personally, than you give Him credit for, and I cherish the depth of that accessibility. His services are deeply ingrained in every fiber of my being. I encourage anyone and everyone to learn of and accept the depth of which I speak. His abilities are only limited by our faith in them.