The Holy Spirit – Our Teacher (May 27th 2020)
St John 14: 15 – 26 and St John 16: 5 – 15
St John 14:26
“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”
St John 16:13
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”
Sunday coming is Pentecost, the day we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus; the gift of a Teacher. We have all had various teachers throughout our lives, in the home; places of learning; at work; in places of recreation and hobby. Some have been quite remote, simply imparters of their knowledge and expertise; like a lecturer in front of a large class, or even just a voice and a face on a laptop screen as we have engaged in some online course or sought some virtual advice. Others have been quite close to us, well known to us and we have been well known to them.
The Holy Spirit is much more like the second kind of teacher, like a sports coach or a music teacher who has an intimate knowledge of and relationship with their student. The knowledge they impart is much more than general teaching, it is designed to be applied very personally to each particular student or client. This teacher takes into account the particular needs and circumstances of the one they are teaching or coaching. Coaching is probably the best way to think of this kind of teaching. It’s not so much imparting knowledge, though it includes this, it is more about shaping and moulding a life; offering direction and providing the wherewithal to face challenges, and to take opportunities that are presented.
Isn’t this who the Holy Spirit is to us, our spiritual coach? The One who comes along side us, intimately and personally, knowing both us, and the One whose teaching He imparts and passes on, in this intimate manner. To your life and mine, in the light of our particular and personal circumstances, needs, challenges and opportunities, He applies the teachings of Jesus.
Our Lord Himself tells us in St John 14 & 16 that the Holy Spirit’s coaching manual is no less than the teaching He, (Jesus), received from His Father and imparted during His earthly ministry. This teaching is much more than head knowledge. Yes it feeds our mind, but it is also designed and given to stir and to inspire our heart, to mould our attitudes, to direct our will, to shape our living and to comfort our soul. It is for character building; equipment for life; resourcing for Christian service and living.
The hymn writer Edith Clarkson writes: He it is, the living author,
wakes to life the sacred word,
reads with us the Bible story
and reveals our risen Lord.
Let us pray:
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me:
break me, melt me, mould me, fill me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.