søndag 21. mai 2017

The initiative is left to me - a time for everything *

I believe that Jesus started teaching about the Holy Spirit in the very beginning of the training of the disciples. In the collected teaching of Jesus, which we refer to as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is clear that the Holy Spirit is the best gift his Father can give:
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:13
When I experienced the Holy Spirit as a real power in my life in 1972, this verse became one of my favourite verses. When I some years later became a father and wanted the best for my children, the verse made an even stronger impact on me. The challenge is that God never intrudes into the privacy of his children. We have to ask him to give us the Holy Spirit. Jesus was completely aware of this and taught. Therefore, it may seem strange that he just before he ascended to heaven, said: 
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”
Acts 1:4
But this is only strange if I regard the ‘art of waiting’ as a passive strategy (1). I can hardly imagine anything more active than children who at Christmas are waiting for the moment when the presents are to be unwrapped. Waiting in the Bible is more related to expecting, simply because I am waiting for something to come true. In the narrative about the Baptist, Luke wrote that “the people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah” (2).

So it is left to my initiative to receive the Holy Spirit. The strategy is to pray and wait ‘expectantly’.

‘Manna’ for today:

God has taken the initiative by sending the Holy Spirit; my initiative is to receive.
(1) See “A passive strategy?”
(2) Luke 3:15
'A time for everything' is connected with the Bible's teaching about a 'season for every activity' Eccl 3 This series is about the teaching in the time between Easter and Pentecost 

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