Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Devotion - Wednesday, October 3

In Acts 19, we are told that Paul goes to Ephesus.  He encounters a group of "disciples."  As he speaks with them, he realizes they had no knowledge or understanding of the Holy Spirit.  When he asks them, "Into what were you baptized?" they responded, "With the baptism of John."  

This story has always stuck with me.

First, they are referred to as "disciples," even though their beliefs and affirmations differed significantly from those of Paul (and other writers of the New Testament.)  We could learn lessons here about insisting on unanimity of thought among Jesus' disciples.  

Second, there is this whole matter of the Holy Spirit.  It is way too simple a conclusion, but it is a pattern among far too many in our culture to also give little attention to the Holy Spirit. Most of our peers focus on the second person of the Trinity - the one who responds to our desire to know and understand.  The Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) is the one who subtlety guides and directs us; the one who enters us as unannounced as the next breath we take.

We are more likely to be asked "What we believe" than we are to be asked "How do we feel?"  There is a preference (in our culture and among those whom Paul encounters in Ephesus) for what we can say about God over how the presence of God impacts our emotions and attitudes.  Some of what informs my actions in the world is what feels right - what feels like the way God would want me to act.  I don't always have a reason, or a supporting bible verse.  It is the unseen and unpredictable moving of the Spirit within my soul.

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