Forums Spiritual Theology 3.2: The Holy Spirit

  • 3.2: The Holy Spirit

     Anonymous updated 10 months, 3 weeks ago 13 Members · 40 Posts
  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 9, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    According to Diana Hayes, the Holy Spirit empowers the Black church, so that … “It is building new communities, rejoining the scattered members of the African diaspora both within and outside the United States, affirming them in their shared oppression, but also leading them forward out of that oppression to new heights expressed in a renaissance of black culture and the continuing development of black theology” (Slain in the Spirit, 26). In other words, the Holy Spirit leads us in the outward journey, or it calls forth “a spirituality that is not the classic imitati Christi, but rather participati Christi, through performance, drama, emotional and ritual” (Slain in the Spirit, 19).

    Answer one of the following: (A) In what ways have you witnessed the Holy Spirit’s leading in your life and/or in the world (today or in the past)? (B) How does the Indian biblical hermeneutics described by Sam Matthew represent a work of the Holy Spirit? (100 words)

    Due: initial post by 11/11 and 2+ follow-up posts by 11/13

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 10, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Our denomination has developed a deep divide over the full inclusion and affirmation of LGBTQIA+ individuals in ministry. Our conference in Northern California does not follow the book of discipline and ordains those individuals openly and affirms their call and identities, however that is not the case in other parts of the US and the world. My own family was affected by this when my father came out as gay my senior year of college and gave up his orders as as an Elder in another conference. I had a lot of anger about that, but have now found a calling to speak clearly and loudly for God’s love and delight in individuals, including their gender identity and sexual orientation. As a lay speaker in my church I have learned to put words to my call and to preach the Good News and God’s deep love for all individuals. In this movement in my own life I am now exploring a call to ministry. In this way, I am working for healing in our denomination but also healing in our family as we are able to more openly speak to my dad about what his needs are in this moment and how we can best work as allies for full inclusion. He has since left our denomination but has been heartened by the work being done and I am proud to contribute in a very small way to addressing this particular sin of exclusion in our denomination.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 11, 2020 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you, @mariposa8487 , for the work you are doing. Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community myself, it isn’t easy, and knowing that there are allies working on our behalf means so much.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 12, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      Sarah, it’s encouraging that this work is being done in denominations that are, according to the official rules, not affirming. At times I struggle with the position of our church – while we are fully inclusive of LGBTQ people, it is also a strong value to be able to be in community with others who do not take a fully inclusive view. I think that this is the right path to take for us, but at the same time, as a bisexual woman myself, I find it hard to “agree to disagree” with folks who think I should not be able to lead in ministry because of my sexuality. Your story encourages me and gives me hope that simply being in community with others who disagree with me may have the power to shift their perspective.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 14, 2020 at 8:12 am

      Sarah, thank you for sharing this. It has been very interesting watching major denominations wrestle with the full inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community. I have found it encouraging in the sense that the conversation is finally happening. It is sad to see the deep divide, though. It does seem to be forcing a robust theological conversation as well.

      I can only imagine that your father is so proud of the way you not only embraced his coming out, but the ways in which you have become a voice for the LGBTQIA+ community.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 17, 2020 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. From division, disappointment, and anger to discovering a calling, sharing God’s delight, and exploring a call to ministry. That is quite a journey, and one that I hope heartens even the most weary among us. Thank you too for calling out the sin of exclusion.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 25, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      I’m surprised you are where you are in your understanding of the issue. I’ve met a lot of people in a similar situation is you, with a gay father, and they are still angry. Not at the church, at their father, and they are still pretty unwilling to understand, or see through their own hurt. It’s awesome that the Spirit has led you to where you are at.

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 11, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    (B) I was reading the Indian biblical hermeneutics, I found it rather intriguing. “When people from different traditions read the Bible together in community, that will allow the Bible to be read with the plurivalent Indian mind, which may disclose meanings that will be a corrective to the dualistic, patriarchal and aggressive theology which Western interpretations of the Bible have sometimes produced” This quote really struck me with the question, isn’t this the nature of the Spirit? Being able to embrace a text with different viewpoints and backgrounds allows for different perspectives to arise. I believe this is where the Holy Spirit begins to work, with communication and relationship. Personally, the conversations where I have gained the most insight and understanding, are the ones with people that have opposing views.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 11, 2020 at 9:50 pm

      @bmantz – I think that learning through those conversations are the way we are able to really see the biggest picture of God. We’re so often told within Evangelical cultures that God is bigger than anything we could ever imagine (anyone else reading that with the VeggieTales tune of “God is bigger”?), but then our echo chambers tend to shrink and confine God to a place where we cannot fathom God working.

      • Anonymous

        Deleted User
        November 12, 2020 at 4:04 pm

        Lol Ellie, now I’ll have that song stuck in my head all night.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 13, 2020 at 8:33 pm

      I also really appreciate that quote! What a refreshing perspective from the very individualistic way we tend to practice reading the Bible in the West.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 15, 2020 at 12:19 am

      Jesus gives us a helpful tool in his words from the Gospel of Matthew 7:15-20 that we will know a false prophet by their fruits, and a tree is good based on the fruit it produces. Sometimes a plant will produce it’s fruit that looks different in shape, color, or size, and that fruit could still be good, and there are lots of different kinds of plants that produce different kinds of fruit and the metric for their truthfulness or falseness is the whether the fruit is good, not whether it fits into our own presupposed standards and expectations perhaps?

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 17, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      Yes! What I love about this is that no one individual can lay claim to the best interpretation. Even the search for some elusive “best interpretation” is set aside for the communal experience of reading and understanding together.

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 11, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    In her book, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans wrote this about the LGBTQ+ Christian community she had the chance to witness:
    “…here they were, when they had every right in the world to run as far away from the church as their legs would carry them, worshipping together, praying together, healing together. Here they were, being the church that had rejected them. I felt simultaneously furious at Christianity’s enormous capacity to wound and awed by its miraculous capacity to heal.”

    Almost two years ago, I had the opportunity to be a part of the leadership cohort for The Reformation Project, a ministry dedicated to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people within the Church. It was the first time that I had encountered any conservative LGBTQ+ Christians after spending over a year on my own thinking that I was the only one. And while at the time I still identified as a conservative, my exposure to the group and their deep thinking about faith and inclusion began to chip away at the tight grip I had on my own ideals.

    In March 2019, I flew out to Orlando to join the 50+ other members of our cohort for a few days of fellowship and study together. During our opening worship segment, I felt the Holy Spirit’s leading in ways I had never experienced before — exactly as Rachel Held Evans described above. These were people who, for all intents and purposes, had been rejected by the church; told we didn’t belong. Yet within that, our desire to come together from all theological backgrounds to worship God completely pushed me to release the grip I had on my conservative theology so that I could open my mind and heart to more progressive ideals that would challenge and change me to this day.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 12, 2020 at 4:43 am

      I experienced something similar when I attended the TRP conference in Chicago back in 2017 and whenever I go to the GCN/QCF conference of the power of the Holy Spirit amongst all these who have been rejected and cast out by the church, a remnant in many ways, and a witness to the power of God, a pentecost of traditions, denominations, beliefs, and experiences brought together in unity without erasing their diversity under the demands of an imperial tongue.

      • Anonymous

        Deleted User
        November 17, 2020 at 5:24 pm

        “…the demands of an imperial tongue”! Yes, there is so much imperialism in the church today.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 12, 2020 at 4:07 pm

      I had a real experience of the Spirit when I moved to LA and first started attending the Metropolitan Community Church. I had never seen a gay minister before, or seen same-gender couples bringing their children to church, or people in transition sharing their journey with a church community. It was incredibly moving for me to see that the Spirit was working among that community in such a vibrant way. It helped me to accept myself, and to extend more love to others.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 12, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      This is beautiful, Ellie. There is something so beautiful about inclusive and affirming spaces. Our church has a gay man serving as our pastor currently and he truly models grace and love in a profound way because of the work he has had to do, just to be included. It gives us all more courage as an inclusive church community to stand up for what is right because we could not imagine not fully affirming his ministry.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 17, 2020 at 5:27 pm

      There is an unmatched grace and beauty that comes from enduring the ugliest forms of exclusion and hate. So thankful for the work of TRP and GCN/QCF.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 18, 2020 at 3:38 am

      While this comment is not specifically for Ellie, I thought this might be the best place to ask my two questions which her comment brought to mind:

      Should the church, ideally, be a place where LGBTQ+ Christians and those who do not affirm can worship and serve together in mutual love? Has anyone experienced such spaces? Maybe the hate and exclusion that LGBTQ+ Christians often experience is simply too much to bear for such a dynamic to realistically exist. I don´t know, hence the questions. Again, I must admit, much of these conversations are very new for me.

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 11, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Hayes’ definition of the work of the Holy Spirit as work that builds new communities and rejoins the scattered is displayed in Matthew’s call for a biblical hermeneutic that is radically committed to the poor. Matthew writes, “Alienation of the theologians and the Church hierarchy from the poor is a reality in Indian context. This alienation could be overcome only by a commitment to the poor and the oppressed not only by reading the Bible from the perspective of the poor, but also by reading with the poor and oppressed…We need another reformation in the Church to give the poor and the oppressed, who are the real owners of the Bible, the right to interpret the Bible,” (112). I’m moved by this image of bridging the gap between theologians and the poor, along with the different class and social statuses that they represent, creating a community in which they interpret the Bible alongside one another. The hierarchy is erased between the educated and uneducated, the upwardly mobile and the oppressed, that they might hear the voice of God together. But what moves me most in Matthew’s image is that theologians are held accountable to the needs of the poor. As I read more biblical scholarship and theology, I often wonder to what communities this scholarship is held accountable to, if the ideas are actually in service to anyone outside of the academy. To demand that theology should be held accountable to the poor is humbling, and it is also participati Christi by developing scholarship that dwells among the least of these, just as Christ does.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 12, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      Yising, I really identify with what you are saying here. It is always so important that we consider “for what purpose” we are doing something, especially scholarly work and even more importantly, who should be included in the discussion. I love the image of scholars and those on the margins coming together for discussion and reflection, it certainly would provide a fuller picture of Christ.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      I really appreciate this insight, Yising. The point about holding theologians accountable to the poor, uneducated, and oppressed reminds of the very people Jesus was accountable to. Jesus hung around the outcasts and the lowly, and disrupted the traditions of the temples and high priests. If we are truly followers of Jesus, I believe we must be held accountable to the same standards. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 14, 2020 at 8:29 am

      I also found this to be both powerful and challenging. I am reminded that is is easy to read the Bible for the poor – meaning to interpret Scripture for the benefit of the poor – but it’s an entirely different conversation to read with the poor. Certainly this applies to all marginalized communities. We have become way too comfortable being the arbiters of truth. We must all invite the Spirt to rejoin us with our brothers and sisters and read and listen with them. Indeed, we need a reformation! One thing is very clear to me, only the Spirit could accomplish this.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 15, 2020 at 12:22 am

      I also felt similarly about Matthew’s words about how biblical scholarship and theology has to be held accountable to regular people outside of the academy, and particularly, the poor! I have often felt the tension between academic theology and it’s relationship (or lack of relationship?) to everyday Christians who are trying to live their lives, worship and serve God.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 17, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      A sobering and challenging point, Yising. I love how this vision calls for not only a theology for the poor but with the poor. It is demanding but necessary work and I’m eager for all of us to start imagining what this might look like. A question for all of us: where do we see this already happening in the world today?

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 11, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    As I reflect on my journey of faith, I can see the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit everywhere. When I was 12, I first “accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior”. I can remember the joy I felt in that moment, believing that my sins had been forgiven and that I would go to heaven. A few years later, I discovered the charismatic/Pentecostal branch of Christianity. I still remember the first time I attended a predominantly black Pentecostal church in Ohio. The idea of singing and clapping at the same time was so foreign to me. The joy and excitement in that room was palpable. I subsequently experienced a baptism in the Spirit. I began to dive deeper into the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements, studying their histories and their impact on global Christianity. I became fascinated with the spiritual gifts, powerful preaching, signs and wonders, and all that comes along with a robust Pentecostal experience. I was introduced to inner healing – the idea that Jesus, through the Spirit, could heal past memories and make life in the present better. Several years later, I discovered the Reformed tradition and began to take theology much more seriously. I began reading N.T. Wright, Tim Keller, and others. At this time , the emerging church movement was becoming increasingly popular. I was intrigued and compelled by the idea that church could be done differently, that church could happen in more communal home-based settings. As time went on, I began to question my faith’s alignment with right wing politics. I also began to question the church’s position on the LGBT community. I explored and embraced a much more inclusive and expansive understanding of God. When I look back over these experiences, I truly believe it has been the Holy Spirit leading me through each phase. I realize now that the Spirit inspired one relationship after another, each leading me to a new dimension of truth. Each new truth caused me to experience a new freedom and liberation. The Spirt truly leads and guides us into all truth. I think I have a much more expansive understanding of “truth” now.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 12, 2020 at 12:18 am

      Thanks so much for this Jeffrey. While not exactly the same, my journey has been similar to yours. I like what you say about a more “expansive” understanding of truth. I feel the same way.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      Jeffrey, thanks for sharing your perspective and journey. I appreciate your growth in the Spirit as you continued to move denominations and explore God and the Bible. I think I am still doing this work of journeying and sometimes I feel the need to have it figured out. Your post is encouraging to me that there is a freedom in just being in the Spirit.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 13, 2020 at 8:26 pm

      Jeffrey, thanks for sharing about your journey through so many different parts of the Church. I appreciate how you can name the gift you received each branch of Christianity you’ve encountered, even if some interactions also brought you pain. I’m encouraged by the way God met you through very different practices and expressions of the faith, as well as your continual openness to it all.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 17, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      What a journey, Jeffrey! I’m glad God leads us in ways that make sense for each one of us, and it makes me all the more thankful for those who have traversed so much ground in the church. The fact that we live in such a globalized, mobile, and increasingly complex world makes me wonder ever more what faithfulness through these myriad changes will look like in the days ahead. Hyper-pilgrims like you (if I may respectfully invent a term!) will have a lot to teach the rest of us.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 25, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      The Pentecostal church has a lot to teach us about the movement of the Spirit for sure. Your journey has taken you through a lot of dimension in the church, and it is interesting to hear about where that is bringing you today.

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 12, 2020 at 4:27 am

    In trying to write an answer to one of the prompts, I ended up writing a response that encompasses both of the prompts! Apologies for a very long post….

    I have shared in previous posts that when my views began to shift and evolve to accept and believe that God might lead people to (and bless) same sex relationships, it was very much spirit lead. I think that this connects to what Sam Matthew says: “Without faith-response to God all hermeneutics will be in vain. This perspective will help us to be cautious in our use of tools that sift the text of the Bible for historical ‘facts’ or study the Bible as literature without any faith commitment on the one hand, and to consider faith-response to God as a guiding principal in Indian biblical interpretation on the other” (Indian Biblical Hermeneutics, 113).

    While I was studying the Bible, a passage that I had read many times before in my life, I saw a new angle of interpretation. In the past, many had come to me with a historical-critical method explaining what is commonly known as the 6 “clobber” passages not to mean loving, committed, same sex relationships, as a means for justifying same sex relationships, but this was not sufficiently convincing to me, because I also did not rely on those six passages as my framework for understanding God’s intention for human sexuality and marriage but the rest of the Bible.

    I do, and have always believed, that because scripture is “god breathed” and living, that we need the help of the Holy Spirit to interpret and understand the Bible, and that our ability to find and discover new things in the same text is partially because of the animation of the Holy Spirit, the source of faith. I had learned through my years of commitment to lifelong celibacy the deep importance of the Holy Spirit and of faith in my walk. It was not sufficient for me to rely upon my intellectual or theological knowledge to live such an ascetic life, it required deep reliance on the Holy Spirit and of the faith supplied to me by the Holy Spirit to live in obedience believing that God would, against all evidence of the world, provide for me all that I needed.

    So that day when I turned to the well-worn pages of my Bible to read a passage I regularly sought for comfort, the Holy Spirit connected many dots for me about how the Bible and Jesus talk about marriage and sexuality and how these values and ideas are lived out amongst Christians and the church. I was terrified that I was being led astray by my own desires or deceitful heart, and I prayed that God would strike down these ideas and thoughts immediately and show me that they were wrong if they were. I was also filled with dread, considering, even if this was not a wrong interpretation or belief, where could I ever find a community or a church that would hold evangelical, reformed, “orthodox” beliefs about Christianity but allow for same sex relationships? How was I to live and practice my faith with a community that would never be able to accept me or this?

    Instead of experiencing the conviction and refutation of this biblical interpretation, within twenty-four hours, news was coming out online about how City Church of San Francisco (a church planted and founded on the same values, ideas, and principals as my own PCA church, City Church of East Nashville) was no longer requiring their LGBTQ members to be celibate in their church. Not only had God not struck me or these thoughts down, but had answered the question I was asking, showing me that I was not alone, that God was working in others the same way that God was working in me. What happened in the weeks, months, and years that followed took a lot of faith in God’s guidance to speak truthfully and honestly with other Christians around me. It would have been easy to hide that this shift had taken place inside my heart and mind and continued to pass in my faith community, knowing that sharing this evolution of conviction would result in being cast out or thrown out of participating and serving in my church and college ministry. I was being convicted by the Holy Spirit both in my theological position on homosexuality but also to accept the harsh consequences of that shift in being totally transparent and upfront about that with the spiritual and pastoral leadership in my life.

    My old RUF minister used to say to us that the difficulty in life is not discerning what God’s will is but doing it. We make a big fuss about “discerning Gods will” is, but much of it is written quite clearly in the Bible. What is difficult is obeying it because that requires faith, and that was what was being asked of me by the Holy Spirit, and I jumped. In those acts of faith, lead by the Holy Spirit, I have learned new and deeper meanings of many passages of the Bible, and resonated with much of what Sam Matthew explored in the paper of Indian Biblical Hermeneutics.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 17, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      There is much here that encourages me personally, SueAnn, as I think about the providential nature of divine timing and the ordering of circumstances. And your reflections on reading Scripture and hearing the Spirit anew as you/we listen for the words of the Spirit today in our various contexts gets at so much of what Matthew is trying to say.

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 14, 2020 at 1:25 am

    I deeply appreciated Hayes’s reading of the Holy Spirit in the Black church of North America, in collaboration with so many insightful Black theologians, writers, and leaders. I especially appreciated Cone’s reflections on the Holy Spirit as God’s liberating and empowering presence: “‘proppin’ them up on every leanin’ side.’ The Spirit was God’s presence with the people and his will to provide them the courage and the strength to make it through.” This seems to get at the participate Christi, performative language, above: the Spirit as the One who leads and empowers us in the outward journey.

    In reflecting on my own experience of the Holy
    Spirit in this capacity, my mind immediately went to Norma Romero and the women
    of Las Patronas in Veracruz, Mexico. For 25 years, Norma, her family, and a
    small group of volunteers have fed hundreds of thousands of mostly men, but
    some women, fleeing escalating violence and extreme poverty in their home
    countries in South America aboard the northbound train, nicknamed La Bestia (“The
    Beast”), for its reputation of devouring people. They have done so with little
    financial support, even as others have challenged their hospitality with
    political and personal critiques. But they have somehow managed to have enough
    to feed and care for some of the most marginalized people in the world. And it
    all began because, as they put it, someone riding the train one day asked if
    they could spare some food while they were walking back from the market. So
    they offered them some bread and some milk, and they returned the next day with
    more food, and they haven’t stopped since. As Norma puts it, she struggled to
    see Jesus in church for years, but now she sees Jesus everyday as she feeds and
    supports those who live dangerously close to death’s grip.

    • Anonymous

      Deleted User
      November 17, 2020 at 5:56 pm

      Excellent connections to the work of the Spirit in the church as well as outside the church. So much spiritual wisdom in what you’re describing here with the women of Las Patronas: sometimes when we don’t see the Spirit at work in one place, we’ve got to look in another place! Even if that means leaving once hallowed places.

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 19, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Most often, the Holy Spirit manifests in my own faith walk in several ways.

    I recognize it clearest when I am led to do something that I don’t want to do: make the call, agree to the task, take on the duty, forgive someone, let go of an old hurt, etc.,. When if I find myself taking on something I would not typically do (or don’t want to do, but need to do), I know that the Holy Spirit is at work and equipping me for the task at hand.


    The other time when I feel the Holy Spirit most strongly is at a moment of discernment: either when I am at a crossroad and need a nudge forward…or when I am uncertain of someone or a situation…and I feel that still small voice pull my proverbial coat-tail and caution me to “Wait!”…”Don’t go now!”…”Say no”, “Think that over again”…or “Not now”.

    Finally, I also feel the Spirit in conversation—particularly on matters of faith. I was in a conversation recently with African American family and we were really grappling with the recent elections and how Christians can see things so differently depending on their politics. And we pushed and pulled and tugged at each other in the conversation trying to convince each other of the “right” opinion. And you could feel the anguish as we couldn’t resolve the issue.


    And then, I felt that feeling in the pit of my gut ( a mixture of butterflies + deep dread) urging me to speak up. All of the folks on the call are “churched”, but it can still feel pretentious to get churchy in casual conversation.

    However, yielding to the Spirit’s urging, I went ahead and mentioned a recent Padrig O’ Tuama discussion “A Poet Reads the Gospels” about John 8 and had the group consider how we have to keep bringing each other back to Christ and how Christ handled conflict and protected the vulnerable…and the flow of the conversation turned, shifted, opened up, became more conciliatory….and folks began to clap, shout, sing, etc.,. half-clowning, but also affirming the breakthrough themselves. I guess that is that performative dimension among African Americans that Hayes is referencing, but this time on a Friday night Zoom call.

    So, these are a few of the ways the Holy Spirit manifests in my life fairly regularly in many diverse ways…and is the Holy Spirit is the aspect of the Trinity that I feel most connected to or led by in my own personal life and decision-making.

    —Nicole

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 19, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Most often, the Holy Spirit manifests in my own faith walk in several ways.

    I recognize it clearest when I am led to do something that I don’t want to do: make the call, agree to the task, take on the duty, forgive someone, let go of an old hurt, etc.,. When if I find myself taking on something I would not typically do (or don’t want to do, but need to do), I know that the Holy Spirit is at work and equipping me for the task at hand.

    The other time when I feel the Holy Spirit most strongly is at a moment of discernment: either when I am at a crossroad and need a nudge forward…or when I am uncertain of someone or a situation…and I feel that still small voice pull my proverbial coat-tail and caution me to “Wait!”…”Don’t go now!”…”Say no”, “Think that over again”…or “Not now”.

    Finally, I also feel the Spirit in conversation—particularly on matters of faith. I was in a conversation recently with <g data-gr-id=”3208″>African</g> American family and we were really grappling with the recent elections and how Christians can see things so differently depending on their politics. And we pushed and pulled and tugged at each other in the conversation trying to convince each other of the “right” opinion. And you could feel the anguish as we couldn’t resolve the issue.

    And then, I felt that feeling in the pit of my gut ( a mixture of butterflies + deep dread) urging me to speak up. All of the folks on the call are “churched”, but it can still feel pretentious to get churchy in casual conversation.

    However, yielding to the Spirit’s urging, I went ahead and mentioned a recent Padrig O’ Tuama discussion “A Poet Reads the Gospels” about John 8 and had the group consider how we have to keep bringing each other back to Christ and how Christ handled conflict and protected the vulnerable…and the flow of the conversation turned, shifted, opened up, became more conciliatory….and folks began to clap, shout, sing, etc.<g data-gr-id=”2557″>,.</g> half-clowning, but also affirming the breakthrough themselves. I guess that is that performative dimension among African Americans that Hayes is referencing, but this time on a Friday night Zoom call.

    So, these are a few of the ways the Holy Spirit manifests in my life fairly regularly in many diverse ways…and is the Holy Spirit is the aspect of the Trinity that I feel most connected to or led by in my own personal life and decision-making.

    —Nicole

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    November 25, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    One experience that stands out to me when I think about the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life was the time God told me to pray for my friend in college. I talked with him on the side of the street, and then walked away, like any other interaction ever. But then I felt I should pray for him. I didn’t hear a voice or anything, I just felt the thought to pray for him press down on me. Hard. I kept walking though, because my friend was already heading up to his dorm and it would be super awkward and weird and even obtrusive to call him back and tell him I was going to pray for him for no tangible reason. But each step I took became harder to take. The throught to pray for him pressed harder and harder, until it was literally a struggle to take another step. I stopped, tried to talk myself out of turning around to pray for my friend, but eventually gave up. God obviously wanted something from me, so I turned around. I headed all the way up to his dorm and knocked on the door. I went in, told him I thought I had to pray for him, he awkwardly said that was fine, and then I prayed and left.

    It was super uneventful. But then, years later, this friend told me that that day, his life changed when I prayed for him. What to me was a weird moment but otherwise uneventful changed his life. And I think that is how the Spirit often asks us to move. To be a part of his grand plan in ways that we couldn’t imagine.

  • Anonymous

    Deleted User
    December 7, 2020 at 7:51 am

    We are justified by faith and holiness. This is what Wesley said. God is inviting us to create all living things and take care of all living things. As such, we must bear the grace and call of God, as holy men and servants of God, throughout our lives. And I’m sure it’s the Holy Spirit who accompanies us all this and makes it’s the Holy Spirit. I want to re-examine the operation of the Holy Spirit through my society rather than my personal part.

    On April 16, 2014, a passenger ship sank into the sea in Korea’s western sea, killing 304 people trapped in the ferry. Most of them were high school students. Everyone in Korea was greatly shocked by the incident. At that time, Christianity in Korea tried to convey its condolences and God’s will to the bereaved families who lost their families in an accident. But it was a futile effort. And through that, Christianity in Korea began to raise the voice of reform and redefine the theory of salvation. Where was God, when many people fell into the sea? The justice we have given is that God was with them and was crying with them. I believe that through heartbreaking work, the Holy Spirit alerted the Korean church. The church, which only dreamed of prosperity, was able to rethink God’s nature and consider the consolation of the Holy Spirit. This is entirely the work of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the church hasn’t done much for this case. It was just silence. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened. This word is silent here for a moment. And Jesus says, I’ll give you rest. The Holy Spirit silenced the Korean church, and soon the Holy Spirit consoled them himself. The Holy Spirit began to reform the Korean church. It continues even now. I believe that although there was no consolation of the Holy Spirit visible to our eyes, over time, the Holy Spirit consoled them and rewritten the history of the Korean church.

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