Gospel Reading: John 14: 23-31
Christmas is a festival of the Divine Trinity. This great act of Christmas begins with a gesture of offering—an offering made from the divine to, amazingly enough, us. To the humanity created to be “in God’s image.”
The Father sends the Son into the world, and the Son is able to send us the Spirit. When we think of the divine bending down into our smallness—it is humbling. Almost unbelievable. But this is the depth and breadth and height of God’s Love for us. That God was willing to become man so that we could find the Spirit.
This is a process of waking up to this highest Love of God within us. We are so slow, but it is dawning!
We have arrived at the festival of Pentecost in our Holy Nights contemplation series, preparing for the coming year through the Christian festivals. Pentecost (or Whitsun) is the festival of the Holy Spirit. In our Creed we can learn something of this Holy Spirit—who, even up to and including the deed of the Annunciation and Conception of Jesus, worked within humanity to make it possible for such a birth to take place that the Son God could become Man. But following the description of Christ’s overcoming of death, and his Ascension, when he becomes Lord of the heavenly forces upon earth and the fulfiller of Creation—we hear an enigmatic statement:
He will in time unite for the advancement of the world with those whom, through their bearing, he can wrest from the death of matter.
Human beings have something to do. Our “bearing” is that upon which the advancement of the world depends. What is this bearing? To bear ourselves is how we carry ourselves through life. This indicates that there are in a sense two aspects of the human being: the one who is borne forth by the other. One could perhaps say: our spirit which carries our body, an indication that it matters which part of us is the guiding part. Does the body guide the spirit or the spirit guide the body? Our “bearing” also expresses an orientation. On what star do we orient ourselves as we move through life? To walk a spiritual path must always be a free activity. It unfolds out of the individual who strives towards something.
All of this can be seen in this bearing, through which Christ can unite himself with us to advance the world. The future depends greatly upon us.
But these efforts make possible the evolution not only of the world, but also of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit, who worked for millennia from behind the scenes, from the heavenly into the earthly world—just think of the Prophets who were the mouthpieces of the Holy Spirit—now is able to work through Christ, and receives a new name which reveals that something has changed:
Through him can the Healing Spirit work.
Though the word HOLY indicates healing, it is altogether different to express it clearly this way. This is a reflection of the change in the human being: through Him in us—spirit Healing can be brought into the world. And thereby, the Spirit itself grows and is able to express itself anew. For the Holy Spirit is actually all of us, becoming our fully realized spiritual selves.
In the gospel reading, this is expressed in the sentence: Whoever truly loves me, bears my Word in themself. We can also say: Whoever loves me reveals my Spirit.
We do not become copies, but those who express God through our unique expression of self. This is what defines Christianity: that the perfection and making whole of God’s creation is for us to become fully human, fully individual, every single person an aspect of God that otherwise would not be expressed on earth. It is our task to become fully ourselves and love like God loves: to make the world whole.