Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...

I shudder every time someone claims to have been blessed by the Spirit of the Lord. This spiritual blessing is most often described as some kind of physical experience (tongues, fainting, laughing, weeping etc). These blessings are claimed to be the result of the right prayers being said, or the right person asking for the blessing, or the correct rituals being performed. And each spiritual blessing creates a group of those who are “in”, and another group who are “out” of the blessing. Which is nothing other than the pursuit of selfish sensory stimulation.

1. Because the blessings of the Spirit are not for a select few: Joel Ch 2:28-29 suggests that God will pour out the Spirit on all people. Why then do we Christians assume that this speaks only to us? I suspect that the Jewish people Joel spoke to were shocked to discover that this might include women, and servants. But perhaps this text could also mean that God intended this to include gay and lesbian people, and Muslim and Hindu people, and people of no particular religious tradition.
2. And there are clear signs to identify someone who is blessed by the Spirit: Isaiah 61:1-2 & Luke 4 speak of a passion for the poor, and the sick, and the oppressed.
Which brings me to my thought for the day. Countless Christians will pray for a renewal of the Holy Spirit this Sunday. How many of us are praying that this will stir up a passion for the marginalised and the poor? If this Spirit of God is truly present in the lives of the South African Christians, then we should expect an overwhelming urge to work for land re-distribution, a desire to build homes for those who have none, and a determination to include gay people, and street people, and dis-abled people into our ‘Spirit-filled assemblies’.

Pray that this will be so. And at the same time read the blog of someone who provides a glimpse of the Spirit’s presence:
Hmm…perhaps I need to preach a sermon this Sunday.


Anonymous said...

You are a man whom I would call 'CHRISTIAN'!
I love the way you think. I feel loved by the way you think.
I also honestly believe that God is an all encompasing God who truly does love ALL of mankind.
He created us for His purpose and I do not believe for one minute that He made any mistakes.
Christian, Jew, Hindu, Moslem, black, white, gay, lesbian etc... etc... all made for His purpose and pleasure.
Who are we mere mortals to exclude anyone from the awsomeness of His love?
I do think the different persuasions among us, are intended to rub us each together with a purpose to make us better (or worse)
We need to learn to accept each other unconditionally and love each other for all our weaknesses and strengths.
Help where we can, contribute to the greater good where we are able, always looking to improve as far as our reach will go.
Improve our (and each others) experience of life, love of life and fulfillment of Gods purposes for us all.
I am a lover!!!!!!!!!!! not a fighter ( although there are times when we are called to fight for something we believe in as well. (fight the good fight)
We need to find that eternal balance in our lives.
Luv Ya!

digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

What was that you said?

Tongues, prophecy and FARTING...!?!

Oh sorry, I see it was fainting...

Indeed sometimes the rushing of a mighty wind in Church is a somewhat less than spiritual experience.... I find this to be the case particularly after Church meetings where a great and wonderful feast of finger delights has been served (boiled eggs, samoosas! etc.)

Sorry, I know that this is both silly and inapropriate. But I thought if it brings a smile to your face it will be worth far more than my silly little thoughts in response to your thoroughly agreeable post!

Indeed you are loved!

Anonymous said...

check the scriptures Mark 16:18 it say to all who believe these signes will follow,...they will speak in new tongues. This is an awesome blessing and experience the Lord has given use, all these are available and accesible to all who believe in His name. Don't short change yourself. Ask the Lord, " I want it, all that you promised " and you be amazed. I do love you passion for the poor and outcasts of todays society, that love will increase as your experience of Him deepens. Please don't let any more time go on without your own "spiritual blessing" Luke 11:13 says If you being evil give good gifts to your children, how much more will God give His Holy Spirit to them that ask. Remain truly blessed. Much Love

Anonymous said...

this is very true... scripture never recorded jesus speaking in tongues yet the spirit of the lord was with him lots.. and the way he lived was in company with the marginalised, tax collectors and roman soldiers, prostitutes and the physically disabled..

I pray that the Spirit of the Lord will pour out upon our churches and set alight a burning passion for the homeless and the Lost and the disabled..