Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We Need the Holy Spirit

Tuesday: 7 May, 2013 –– 6th Week in Easter
Acts 16:22–34 / John 16:5–11
We Need the Holy Spirit

Jesus said, It is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you....

The “Advocate” is, of course, the Holy Spirit. The Incarnation of Jesus limits his physical body to one given place. (More on that thought in a couple of days when we celebrate the Ascension.) Jesus knows we need his Presence with us all the time. We each need the life, wisdom, cleansing and power that is available to every Christian because Jesus went away and sent his Spirit.

The story of Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail shows what it means for the Spirit of Jesus to be dominant in Christians’ lives. First, Paul and Silas wanted to tell the Good News of the Gospel –– and even in the face of persecution. We naturally talk about what is most important to us, and the life of the Spirit in Paul and Silas shows that their “Number One” was Jesus.

The world often hates the Christian message. After being beaten and put in jail, we find that Paul and Silas were singing hymns in the middle of the night. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to override circumstances like that. We too easily grumble when things are mostly pleasant.

Then God causes an earthquake that opens the jail. The jailer assumes all the prisoners have escaped, and this will cause his own death. Yet Paul and Silas do not run away when they’re given the opportunity. Their witness of Jesus turns the jailer’s despair into desire –– he wants what makes Paul and Silas so different: Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

Answering that question was St Paul’s reason for living. The Spirit of Jesus possessed him, and everything else was secondary. 

That is why Jesus said It is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.... 

We need the Holy Spirit to fill our lives.

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