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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Reference to the Spirit of God

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  May 9, 2017 --

Reference to the Spirit of God is to be found throughout the Holy Bible, from one end to the other. The second line of the first chapter of Genesis states that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” And the Spirit is again to be found in the very last chapter of Revelation.

In the Old Testament the word usually translated as “spirit” is _Ruwach_, which in a different context may also mean “wind” or “breath”. In fact, in some instances the “Breath of God” and the “Spirit of God” are identical. In Genesis 2:7 God “breathes life into Adam”, thus imparting some of his Holy Spirit. Jumping way ahead to the New Testament, according to John, after Jesus’ resurrection he appeared to his disciples and “breathed on them and said ‘receive the Holy Spirit’ “ which is again a connection between breath and spirit. Finally, at the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were gathered in the upper room, “suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from Heaven and filled the entire house”. This was a massive influx of the Holy Spirit settling on all the disciples.

I’m no theologian, but it seems to me that each one of us already contains a portion of the Holy Spirit within us, and can get more just by sincerely asking. St. Paul says “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that God’s spirit dwells within you?” And in the eleventh chapter of Luke we are told that God will give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks. But be careful what you ask for. Instead of getting just a little bit more of the Holy Spirit you may get “filled with the Holy Spirit”, and you will never be the same again.

John the Baptist began his ministry “filled with the Holy Spirit”, only eventually to be beheaded by Herod. On the day of Pentecost, Peter and the other Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spent the rest of their lives dedicated to the propagation of the gospel. A similar fate befell Paul on the road to Damascus. Most of these eventually ended up as martyrs, but not before firmly spreading the Word of God throughout the then known world. So, being filled with the Holy Spirit is both highly desirable and somewhat dangerous.


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