Teaching Spirit

Teaching Spirit

Author: The Rev. Dr. David Bridges, Priest
May 25, 2021

As Jesus was explaining to his disciples that he would soon be leaving the earth (See John chapter 14), he went on to say, “I will send the Advocate, the promised Holy Spirit to teach you everything and to remind you of all the things I have said.” (John 14: 26)

Perhaps you never thought of the Holy Spirit as a teacher. As the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit is fully God and always among us. The Holy Spirit wants us to grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

I believe we are intended to be students every day of our lives. When we stop learning, we die, emotionally and spiritually. As followers of Jesus Christ, we must continue to learn and grow as the world around us changes.

We will necessarily change as we mature and increase in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. We change every day; mainly because we grow older with every passing day. We also change as our understanding of Jesus and our place in the Kingdom of God changes.

When we reject change, we may be stifling the work God is doing for us; we may miss some of the blessings God has prepared for us in this earthly life. When we reject change, we are saying “I am fine with things the way they are”, rather than reaching forward toward what God has in store for us.

It is the Holy Spirit that teaches us to value change as a means of growth. For example, when the Apostle Paul began preaching the message of Jesus Christ to non-Jews (Gentiles), he was criticized for taking the sacred mysteries to “unclean” people.

God had already decided that non-Jews would also be invited to the Kingdom of God, even though their dietary and personal habits were very different, even offensive to Jews. It was the Holy Spirit that revealed the truth of Jesus Christ to all persons.

We can never rest on our own current understanding. We should always be willing to accept new understandings through the Holy Spirit. One of ways we see churches and the society around us change is in the move toward inclusive language and practices.

We are becoming much more aware of how our speech and attitudes either draw people to Christ or push them way. The Holy Spirit teaches us to see these kinds of change as necessary and beneficial.

The Holy Spirit also teaches us by nudging us out of our comfort zone into a newness of spirit. Newness brings fresh energy to our lives and the church. It reveals the beauty of God’s goodness and reminds us of the reason the church exists; to bring people into a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ, strengthen their lives, and improve our world.

Come Holy Spirit, great teacher and guide.

Blessings and Peace to You All,
Fr. David+


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