In this seventh post in the series Whatever Happened to Our Backbones I will focus on the description of the Holy Spirit that is given in the Nicene creed – I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life who has spoken through the prophets.
The previous posts are –
To our ancestors in the faith it was the Holy Spirit that gave life. This is the steel in our spines, the real backbone strengthener. There are two occasions in the Bible on which God breathes on human beings – In Genesis 2:7 we are told God breathed the breath of life on man and he became a living person. In John 20:22 Jesus breathes on the disciples and says Receive the Holy Spirit. In that moment the disciples again became living persons, this time of the new creation. The spirit of death that engulfed all humankind at the fall has been overcome. We are no longer citizens of a world in which death and violence and selfcentredness reign. Now we are full members of God’s new world in which love, peace kindness and mutual care have triumphed.
Listen to Paul’s description in Galatians:
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law is summed up in this one command: Love your neighbhour as yourself…. So I say let the Holy Spirit guide your lives…. the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…. Since we are living in the Spirit let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5: 13, 14, 16, 22, 23, 25)
The Spirit of God is indeed the life giver. It not only fills us with the life giving breath of God but it overflows and runs out through our lives. Filled with the power of the Spirit we can give life to all we touch through life giving acts of compassion, mercy, justice and peace that can and will transform our world.