Pushed Into the Spirit
Just this week there was a news article about "a new gold rush". The price of gold has been going up as people have become less confident about savings accounts and stocks and bonds. That's not new. But what is new is that more and more people who invest in gold want the 33 ounce gold bars to take home with them. "I don't know what they do with it, "said Ralph Weston of Heritage West Financial in San Diego. "Do they use it as a doorstop or what?"
Unless you are a metallurgist or jeweler there's not much you can do with a gold bar — they're useless. Maybe you can sell it to someone else, but that's not using it, it's just selling it.
So why are people demanding the gold bars instead just a receipt and record of their investment? The news article suggested it's because people don't want to settle for a promise but want something tangible.
I suspect that's correct, and it's a problem for us in the Church because we live by a promise, by intangibles — as the Bible says, "we live by faith and not by sight."
We prefer things we can get our hands on; but Jesus, instead, has pushed us into the Spirit — the greatest intangible of all.
Today's Scripture is full of Spirit-based concepts. Perhaps you liked the sound of the words. It's likely they went right over your head.
• "spirit of wisdom and revelation"
• the eyes of your heart enlightened"
• "the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe"
• "the fullness of him who fills all in all".
There's nothing hands-on here;
• it's all promise,
• it's all intangible,
• it's all Spirit.
It started toward the end of Jesus' time with his disciples. In John's Gospel we read that as the time drew near when Jesus was to be taken from the disciples, he tried to prepare them for the new kind of life they would have to live without him:
(John 14:1 NRSV) "Do not let your hearts ...
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