“The Lord God proclaims: I will put my breath in you and you will live.”
For me, the journey of discovering the Holy Spirit began with singing the Gloria Patri in church: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.” It wasn’t a great beginning. Ghosts were scary beings haunting people in those horror movies I couldn’t stand, or they were kids dressed up for Halloween (my own ghost costume experience in 4th grade consisted of the sheet getting twisted around so the eye holes ended up somewhere over an ear, which was closely followed by me running smack into the gym wall during the costume parade – yeah, wasn’t a fan of anything labeled ‘ghost’ back then).
But fortunately, the spirit moved me beyond that particular embarrassing episode in my life, and I next remember discussing the concept of the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity. My Sunday school teacher invited us to see the Trinity like an apple with three parts: the skin, the tasty fruity stuff and the seeds – but as still one apple. That concept broke down a little when our discussion migrated to who was represented by each part. “The skin surrounds the apple like the Holy Spirit surrounds us… God should be the seeds because you can’t get the apples unless the seeds are planted, and God was first… But we spit out the seeds and I don’t want to spit out God…” It was a lively, “spirited” debate, but perhaps the teacher tried a different analogy with her next class.
My next Holy Spirit lesson? “The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Of course my path to discovering the Holy Spirit in my life has been marked by many inspiring scripture passages such as Romans 8:26-27: Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. (Love that last part!)
And one of my favorite hymns, The Spirit Song:
O let the Son of God enfold you
With His Spirit and His love
Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul
O let Him have the things that hold you
And His Spirit like a dove
Will descend upon your life and make you whole
© 1979 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing
I have traveled far on my journey with the Holy Spirit – from fearful apparition to guiding, comforting, filling presence in my life. And everyday I want to open up myself to this breath of God that comes in sighs too deep for words – breath to make me live!
What’s your Holy Spirit journey?
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.