The Spirit Reveals

June 2, 2009

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13)

hsJesus prepares His disciples for His departure to the Father with these words. He must go so that He can send the Holy Spirit.   The end of the above verse where it says, “and He will tell you things to come” (NKJ), should not be taken as some sort of gift of knowing the future. The literal Greek translation is, “and He will tell you of the coming (things).” It is very clear what Jesus is saying. The Christ is spoken of throughout the Bible with the Messianic title “the coming (one)” as for example in Matthew when John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to go find Jesus and ask Him if He was the Coming One (Matt 11:3). And as the Messiah Jesus ushered in the Kingdom which is to come, and it is the Holy Spirit is  who reveals the “coming of the Kingdom.” The Holy Spirit is not only the revealer of the coming Kingdom but of all things of God, “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

At every Divine Liturgy we gather as members of God’s Kingdom and ask the Holy Spirit to make these things known to us. In St. Basil’s Anaphora (Offering) prayer we pray for the Holy Spirit to descend upon us and the gifts of bread and wine to reveal these things as the very body and blood of Christ. It is by the Holy Spirit that all things are revealed. Jesus Christ opened to us everlasting life by His Passion and glorious Pascha from death to life and it is the Holy Spirit that bestows this life upon us.

But the real question is how do wee see this concretely working out in our lives? What actually happened last Sunday at Church? Am I any different because of it?

I remember when I first started exercising with weights. I bought some dumbbells and started a makeshift gym in the basement. I read magazines and articles on form and routine. I wanted to start right and make it a life long commitment hopefully without injury. If you jump in too fast and lift too heavy a weight the body is not prepared; ligaments are not capable of supporting the weight and the neural system is not accustomed to the movements. Quickly you find out it is not just muscles at work but a very complex system working together that adapts over time.  Beginners see progress for a short time then quickly plateau and run the risk of overtraining or injury. Most people do not properly exercise even though they are “lifting weights.”  It is always best to train with a partner. They immediately can see imbalances or improper form and bring it to the attention of the person lifting. A good friend of mine who has been lifting for years recently confessed to me that he is amazed how he learned his right side of his body reacts to exercise much differently than his left side. When I recently lifted my partner was their to tell me that my shoulders were not in balance and therefore I was not carrying the weight evenly in the squat. I would not have known any different unless my partner was there to note these minute details in the exercise. When I was performing them by myself everything felt fine and well executed. They may be minute imbalances but they are very important in the execution of the exercise and the prevention of injury. It takes time and commitment to fix and relearn bad habits in lifting weights. I think weightlifting with a partner is a metaphor for attending Liturgy in the Spirit.

As a Christian we should approach the Divine Liturgy with care and understanding. It is to be a life-long commitment with proper understanding. Weightlifting begins before one enters the gym by knowing what the routine will be for the day, proper nourishment, and mentally running through the program in one’s mind. So also with Liturgy, one should pray, fast, meditate on the things of God. Just like my gym partner who reveals to me bad form, imbalances, and the things that are proper; at the Liturgy the Holy Spirit reveals to us Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment (John 16:8). It is when we woship in Spirit that not only our lives are revealed to us, but the joy of the things of God are made known to us.

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One Response to “The Spirit Reveals”

  1. Mark Vassilakis Says:

    This is spot on. An ancient Christian saying was that a single Christian is no Christian. The Holy Trinity is the prime example that the divine life can only be found in community.

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