The Holy Spirit: No Ashleigh Keister!

The great people don’t need to act great. They understand that what they are (what we perceive as their greatness) comes not from what they do but from who they are. I saw this in action the other day among people none of you would know, so suffice it to say that one up-and-comer (who we will simply call Ashe Keister) was trying to do great stuff (and therefore getting in the way and mucking up the process) while the other person was perfectly content to be ordered around by the secretary, and managed to get a lot done (and save the day), not by announcing the fact that he was the Executive Vice President of All Sorts of Important Things in Life and the Universe, but rather by obeying the secretary.

It reminded me of the Holy Spirit and his relationship to the Father and the Son. Scripture tells us that the Son is begotten of the Father and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, two phrases that are also enshrined in the Nicene Creed. This is about all that we know about the Trinity. The eternal movement of Divine Life is outward to the Son and Spirit (and beyond), and the eternal movement of Divine Love is to flow back inward as an expression of their true union and unity.

This is their being: three equal persons in eternal dynamic relationship, flowing out and flowing in. Thus God is not a static entity, but a dynamic entity of love.

In contrast to their being, there is they’re work. I have in mind particularly John 15:26 (which I will quote from the KJV, since it uses the word “procession”) where Jesus says, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”

In terms of God’s work in the world, the Son will send the Spirit for the purpose of testifying of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the “economy” of God (that is, how God works in the world), the Son sends the Spirit. But in the “being” of God, the Spirit “proceeds from the Father” (not “from the Father and the Son,” as the Latin translation of the Nicene Creed incorrectly says, if it is referencing John 15:26). This is why Jesus says, “I will send the Spirit to you “from the Father.”

Of course the Son has already been sent into the world by the Father, so in their work, one might go so far as to say that the Spirit is playing third trombone. If the Spirit was anything like Ashe Keister, he might get a bit huffy about this. He is, after all, of the same essence as the Father and Son, he is equal to the Father and the Son, and just as the Son is begotten of the Father, so the Spirit proceeds from the Father.

But like the Executive Vice President of All Sorts of Important Things in Life and the Universe, the Spirit is perfectly willing and glad to take orders from the secretary (or the Son, in this case), and it is through this invisibleness of person and willingness to work for the greater good, that the true glory and honor of the Holy Spirit is revealed.

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