The Holy Spirit Necessity

June 9, 2019

Today we celebrate the experience of the Holy Spirit.  We celebrate who we are called to be as a Church and we are invited into a lifelong relationship with the breath of God sent as a fulfillment of the promise of Jesus Christ our Savior.  What a gift and what a promise our God has made to us.

As you know, I love the game of golf.  I took it up when I was in my thirties and it has been a constant in my life since then.  I also have been blessed to have had some lessons to guide me.  These have helped me with the fundamentals.  They have reminded me of the basics.  Each winter, in preparation for the outdoor season, I take some more lessons.  Each winter we work on pretty much the same basics.  This makes me a slow learner, but it also is a constant reminder that left to myself my golf swing, which is not pretty, I would definitely be even worse.  I often say to those golfing with me, “Can you imagine what it would be like to golf with me without lessons?”   But seriously, left to our own devices we would overcompensate on some things, try too hard at other things.  I am amazed that with the help of a great instructor, in just 30 minutes we can get a new swing thought and correct what I have overdone or overcooked.  Left to my own design, I would fail miserably. My swing cannot reach its potential without a coach or instructor.  Even golf pros have instructors all throughout their life and they golf for a living.

Lately I have not been able to settle my swing or feel at peace with it.  I thought I lost what I had previously learned, so I scheduled another lesson.  On the day of the lesson, it rained and the place was flooded.  When we rescheduled, it happened again.  We couldn’t get the lesson in and I knew I needed help; I needed the vision that only the instructor could help provide.  Because of my persistent asking, we finally settled on a time to meet indoors to go back to basics.  I felt like a new person.

The same is true for our spiritual life.  Left to ourselves we fail.  Jesus and the heavenly Father knew this.  They promised the Holy Spirit to be with us, to remind us all that we have learned, especially that Jesus died for our sins.  The Holy Spirit allows us to remember the basics and get back to what really matters—union with God.  We need to relearn these lessons time after time, over and over again.  The Holy Spirit makes that time come alive.  The Holy Spirit guides us to the gifts that are already within us.  When I get a lesson, what I need is already within me.  The same is true for our faith.  Our soul has this great capacity to love and forgive, it has this great capacity to receive and live in grace.  But we need help; we need an instructor.  When Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, He promised all of this.  With the help of the Holy Spirit we can reach our potential.  The Holy Spirit reminds us of what is already inside us and what we already know.  What a blessing, what a gift!  The Holy Spirit is necessary for us to be all we can be and to live faith dynamically.

We need the Advocate; we need the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit and renew our hearts!

Reverend  John J. Ouper