Summary: Sermon for Trinity Sunday on the Holy Spirit
LEADING US ALL THE WAY HOME
MAY 26, 2013
FARM HILL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, HARRISBURG, AR
INTRO. In C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia”, the young girl Jill approaches a stream. She has had nothing to drink for quite some time and is very thirsty. There is only one problem - standing next to the stream is a gigantic lion. “Are you not thirsty?” said the lion. “I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill. “Then drink,” said the lion. “May I - could I - would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill. The lion answered this only by a look and very low growl. As Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. “Will you promise not to - do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill. “I make no such promise,” said the lion. Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer the lion. “Do you eat girls?” she said. “I have swallowed up, consumed girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it. “I dare not come and drink,” said Jill. “Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion. “Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.” The lion said, “There is no other stream (lost citation)”.
Doesn’t the stream stir up a lot of fear? What will the lion do to me if I bend over to get a drink? What if I fall in and drown? That seems to be the way a lot of people are, even in the church today, when we hear talk about the Holy Spirit. Perhaps we associate him with some of those noisy churches - speaking in tongues, whooping and hollering, thank you Jesus! Worse yet, we hear about things like control and worry about what it will mean if we allow this third person of the Trinity, God himself, to have such an influence over our lives. What about our future, our hopes, our dreams? Doesn’t the control of the Spirit mean a life of poverty, of looking different, talking different, being weird, odd, misunderstood? Why is this even necessary? Jesus, here in John 16, tells the disciples, that he must leave if the Spirit is to come in his fullness and be the voice and presence of God in our lives. What is the Holy Spirit supposed to do?
I. PROVE THE WORLD WRONG (8-11). In today’s environment, that’s not too hard to do, is it? When we are honest, we have to admit there is a lot wrong with this world of ours! The 19th century poet Arthur Hugh Clough put it this way (quoted in A Hunger for God, Everett Leadingham, 53):
This world is very odd we see,
We can’t comprehend it;