Wednesday, May 06, 2009

How the Holy Spirit Comes

The Large Catechism teaches us that where the Word is preached, and only where the Word is preached, there is the Holy Spirit. Even life-long Lutherans have a problem with this sometimes; we want to think the Holy Spirit comes to our feelings, or zaps us with power, or kinda sorta not-exactly-magically works in us. But our Confessions teach that He works through the Word alone.

In recent years, Pastor has been pointing out places where inspiration results from the Word given earlier. For example, Simeon knew that Jesus would be in the temple because of what he'd heard via the shepherds and Zechariah. Zechariah's song at the birth of John was very similar to one of the psalms. Mary's song (the Magnificat) is remarkably like Hannah's song. And so forth.

So what do we hear in Acts 1? Jesus tells the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit is poured out. Interestingly enough, what are the disciples doing during those ten days? They are in the temple. They are immersed in the prayers and in supplication. Even here, at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did not come beaming magically through the air, but He came with and through the Word.

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