Come Spirit God

     As Christians, we profess our belief in a God who is Father, Son and Spirit.  Yet in our day-to-day living, we most often imagine God as Father or Savior, rather than a Spirit God of wind or fire.  The vision of God as spirit is probably most foreign to us, especially in our efforts to image the God to whom we pray.  There is a huge absence of a Spirit image of God in our lives.

     Priest and poet, Ed Hays, suggested that a way to sharpen our image of a Spirit God is to imagine the Spirit as “an energy booster.”  For many of us, food or exercise provide us with an energy boost, as we fire up for our daily routines.  Imagine the ever-present Spirit who can jump-start a new vision of hope for our world.  It was the Spirit who propelled Jesus into the desert, up the mountain, and off to a deserted place to pray.  It was the Spirit who urged Jesus to eat with outcasts and speak out against political power.  It was the Spirit who breathed life into the entombed Jesus and prompted what Hays called, “the greatest prison break in history.”  It is reassuring to remember that Jesus promised that same Spirit to empower us!

     That Spirit makes it possible for us to continue to work for universal peace and a more just world.  And, it is that Spirit who will energize us to turn Scripture directives into lived principles that dictate how we live.  It is time for us to realize that we do not need to settle for less; that the power of the Spirit is not beyond our reach, but within our grasp.  Jesus reminds us that “All things are possible with God.”  It is that powerful potential---that divine gift of the Spirit that we celebrate this Pentecost.

     Fr. Ed Hays dedicated a Pentecost poem entitled: “The Brooding Spirit.”  May his poetry call us to a new awareness of the gifts of the Spirit, and the determination to use them to change the “face of the earth.”

“Come Spirit of the Holy, brood over me,

huddling hen-like as you once did over the dark,

swirling waters of chaos on creation eve.

Your scream shattered the silence,

as God’s love cracked open the cosmic egg,

spilling out spiral galaxies and stars,

planets and moons, oceans and land.

Brood over me, Spirit of creation,

with your searing, scarlet wings aflame.

Umbrella me in the hothouse steam of love,

so my hard shell will shatter open.

Then, spill forth from the very center of me

God’s wildest dreams and fantasies

heaven’s highest hopes for my day,

as you again recreate this old, weary world.”

     This new awareness of the Spirit transforms us so that we put others first, especially the poor, and embrace the role of servant.  We broaden horizons, reject no one, and speak out against injustice and violence.  We accept the permission, the urgency, and the desire to live the life of the world to come already here and now…knowing that our world is not prepared for it and bearing the challenges and disadvantages that such a life involves.  As ambassadors, we embrace the world fired by the Spirit, and strive to set that world ablaze with God’s love.

~ Deacon Wilson Shierk