“Because Christianity is an incarnational, bodily faith, we
believe that there is nothing more spiritual than the body. The resurrection of
Jesus was the resurrection of a body.
In his resurrected body Christ continued in relationship with his disciples,
ate and drank with them, showed up unexpectedly, and continued to take up room
in the world. The presence of Christ among us, in the power of the Holy Spirit,
is embodied. …There are those who contrast the often-boring organizational,
institutional church with the allegedly carefree, free-floating Holy Spirit.
These tend to be the “I am spiritual but not religious.” Crowd. Sorry. The Holy
Spirit rests upon bodies, first on the crucified body of Jesus, then on the
often full-of-holes and beaten body of Christ, the church.” - "The Holy Spirit", Hauerwas and Bishop William H. Willimon,
Some of us may feel very frustrated about our church in general that church is ineffective and irrelevant to their lives. Inside the church, some of us may feel hopeless on the status quo of our church declining its membership and losing its impact to young folks. Some of you might have had bad experiences at church because of the immature Christians with their hypocrisy and judgmental attitude.
However, can’t we remember that the church is a visible sign of the intimacy that God intends for all through the redemptive, relational power of the Holy Spirit who brings us together and teaches us everything that Jesus said? At church we still experience the ongoing grace of Jesus when we remember the Peace that Jesus shared after his resurrection. We see and receive God’s unfailing love when we share the body and blood of Christ at the Holy Communion. Church is where you can see that there is always a place for you to sit and listen to the love of God our Father who cheers you and softly guides you and helps you. That is what the Holy Spirit did and does here and now. That is what the church is about.
In the gospel of John, we see that Jesus introduces about the Holy Spirit, as our comforter and advocate as he knew that his time is coming to depart.
The “Advocate” is the “Spirit of truth” whom the disciples would recognize: “You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you” (John 14:16-17 NRSV). The advocate is sent to “teach you everything, and remind you of all I have said to you” (John 14:26 NRSV).
That the Holy Spirit “will teach you everything, and remind you” of all that Jesus said is immensely reassuring. None of us is born Christian. We must learn the faith, and in the Holy Spirit we see that God loves us enough to teach us all we need to know to be with God. Jesus tells us some astounding truth that is easy to forget. Therefore the advocate reminds us.
Last night, I watched a TV program I love. On the program, there was a story about a father and a son who had intellectual disability. His wife struggled with the fact that her son had such disability and few years later she left them. So the father had to care for his only son who needs him almost all the time. The son was 14 years old but there’s not so much he can do by himself. The father taught him how to tie his shoes for four years and still he was having a hard time. The father who so loves his son would never give his son up. One day, the father asked his son to go to a grocery store to buy something. It was intended so that the son can learn how to buy and how to pay. He wrote them down and gave it to his hand. When the son left the house, the father quietly and secretly followed his son from a distance to see how he was doing. Even at the store, the father was watching the son on the other side of the aisle secretly to see how he was doing. After the son finished his mission at the store, the father was waiting outside on the street and said, “How did it go, my son?” And the son, with hugging his father immediately and sobbing said, “Dad! It was hard and but I made it!” The father hugged him softly and said, “Well done my son! Well done!”
The story overlapped me with the love of God in the Holy Spirit. God our Father watches over us through the Holy Spirit who is with us always and teaches us everything Jesus said. So that we can continue to learn from Him how to live and how to love the way God wants. When we fail, the Holy Spirit would come to us and say, “That’s okay. I love you! You did great! Let's try again” What a soft and tender approach way the Holy Spirit moves and works in us!
Dear friends, may the intimate love of God through the Holy Spirit fill you today that we can continue to embody the love of God through His body, the church! Love you in Christ!