How do you see the Holy Spirit at work in the world? As the series continues Shane Claiborne, Maxie Dunnam, and Stanley Hauerwas share thought-provoking answers about the Holy Spirit’s role.
“In John 14 Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit and he says: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing… even greater things than these.” He then assures the disciples that, though he is leaving them in the flesh, the Holy Spirit will be with them – and live in them. This may be one of the most mysterious and wonderful miracles of all – God lives in us. The Spirit is not limited to our hands — but the Spirit wants our hands. Paul writes, “The life I live, I no longer live but Christ lives in me.” For some strange reason, God does not want to change the world without us. God wants to live in us and through us — through the Holy Spirit. God wants our hands, our feet to become an extension of God’s love. We are to become the Body of Christ. This is the mystery of the Eucharist – you are what you eat – we re-member Christ’s broken body and spilled blood. As Christ’s body we pour ourselves out to the world as the Spirit lives in us. None of us is Christ alone, but all of us are Christ’s body together. That’s what the Holy Spirit is all about. Moving in the world – in the most unlikely places, in the most unlikely people. It is the cracks that let the light come in – so God likes broken vessels.”
Maxie Dunnam – former President of Asbury Theological Seminary from 1994 to 2004, Senior Pastor Emeritus at the 6,000-member Christ United Methodist Church, author of more than 40 books, founding member of the Confessing Movement, and recipient of several awards including the Philip Award For Distinguished Service in Evangelism.
“The Acts of the Apostles might well be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit and two great truths stand out: where there is much prayer, there is vivid expression of the Holy Spirit; where there is the vivid presence of the Holy Spirit, there is much praying. This dynamic relationship—prayer and the presence of the Holy Spirit—produces that which is beyond us; in fact, this is the source of miracles. One of the reasons we don’t see more miracles is that we don’t expect more miracles.
There is an intimate connection between the Holy Spirit and intercessory prayer. Intercession is at the heart of our relationship to the Father, the risen and reigning Christ and to the Holy Spirit. Two verses of Scripture combine to give us the picture. Romans 8:27 says, God, who searches the heart, knows it is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Put that with the exhilarating fact that Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us, and you have the dynamic work of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God searches our minds and the Holy Spirit becomes the intercessor of our hearts. As the Risen Lord, Jesus is the great intercessor, so the intercessions of the Holy Spirit and the Christ are one. As we abide in Christ, our intercession is one with the Holy Spirit and Christ, the Great Intercessor, in the throne room of heaven.”
Stanley Hauerwas – Professor at Duke Divinity School with a joint appointment at Duke Law School, named “America’s Best Theologian” by Time Magazine in 2001, and an award-winning author of many books including A Community of Character: Toward a Contructive Christian Social Ethic.
“The Holy Spirit moves in our world the way the Holy Spirit has moved in every age, that is, its role is to always point us to Jesus. In particular, one of the remarkable developments in our time has been the Christological centering of Christian theology. Karl Barth’s work is the great exemplification of that development. He strikes me as miraculous as it’s very hard to give an account of where he came from. The Spirit moves where the Spirit wills. But the Spirit will always point us to Jesus.”