During the season of Lent, I had the pleasure of being in a weekly group who read and discussed “Creed: What Christians Believe and Why (Exploring the Apostles’ Creed).” Its author is Adam Hamilton, the respected Senior Pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City.
In the chapter on the Holy Spirit, Hamilton had a funny illustration that we enjoyed in both print and DVD:
“Recently, I was assembling a file cabinet in the basement of my house. When I was ready to begin — I grabbed my power drill, pressed the trigger, and heard it slowly grind to a halt. I had forgotten to plug the battery into the charger the last time I had used it. Unwilling to wait for the battery to recharge or to go back upstairs to retrieve a screwdriver, I began turning the screw around and around by rotating the entire drill manually in my hand. It was a ridiculous way to screw something together, and it took five times longer than it should have. This is what churches look like when they seek to be the church without drawing upon the Spirit’s power.”
I’m drawn to that illustration for a couple reasons. One is obvious — I have spent a lifetime making the same “ridiculous” decisions when I have attempted to assemble or fix virtually anything!
The other reason is more theologically reflective, for I have also spent a good portion of my life downplaying the importance of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps I have been afraid of appearing too simple, or less-than-sophisticated. Perhaps I have justified it by saying “that’s what those other Christians do.” Regardless, I realize now that this was another of my ridiculous notions.
The Holy Spirit is the vital connector to our Loving God, our Living Christ, and our sisters and brothers who reach out to us from the past — and surround us in the present. Let’s celebrate that together this Sunday!