The Holy Gospel: May 27, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  John 15:26-27; 16:4-15

Meditation:  Jesus Puts a Face on God

Pentecost Sunday is a good time to focus on one aspect of the significance of the incarnation; namely, Jesus puts a face on God.  Jesus said it: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”  Far from being distance, removed, and unconcerned about us, we see in the face of Jesus, One who loves us and is at continuously at work on our behalf.

The same holds true for the Spirit.  Jesus puts a face on the Spirit.  Unfortunately, there have been those (ancient and modern) who have left the impression that the Spirit makes people weird and freakish.  But the fact is, the Spirit is like Jesus, and the Spirit-filled life is not one of bizarre appearances and behaviors, but one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

One of the reasons we can give ourselves fully to a celebration of Pentecost Sunday is that we are moving into relationship with the Holy Spirit who testifies on behalf of Jesus (15:26).

I wish you could have known Clyde Latimer—a West-Texas oil worker—a true rough neck, who lived well into his adulthood disinterested in God and the things of God.  But when he met Jesus Christ, he said, “I can love a God like that!”  Jesus put a face on God for Clyde, and he spent the rest of his life bearing witness to it.

Clyde experienced what the apostle Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians 4:6—that the glory of God has been revealed to us in the face of Jesus Christ.  This Pentecost Sunday offers us the opportunity to open ourselves afresh to the Holy Spirit, knowing that as we do so, the Spirit will come to reveal more of Jesus to us and to make us more like him.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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