Alive in the SpiritPosted: June 17, 2014
This week, Brandon Hawk shares his reflections on Clive Calver’s Alive In the Spirit:
One image that I particularly like, and that I think intersects well with Clive Calver’s study, is in a sermon by a medieval monk named Bede. He lived in England, from about 672 to 735, and was a monk in the twin monasteries of Wearmouth-Jarrow from the age of seven until his death. Over the years, Bede had a lot of time to study the Bible, and he wrote a lot about it. Among his works is a series of sermons on the gospels. In his sermon for Pentecost, Bede gives the gospel reading from John 14:15-21, and says this about it:
Truth [Jesus] says to his disciples at the commencement of this gospel reading, “If you love me, keep my commandments, and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete.” Paraclete means “consoler.” The Holy Spirit is correctly called a Paraclete because, by producing a desire for the heavenly life, he raises up and restores the hearts of believers lest they falter amidst the adversities of this age.
I really like this multi-faceted image (and Calver talks about this, too, in different parts of his devotional): in our love for Christ, we receive both a spiritual longing for heaven–here in our present time on earth as well as in our eternal future–and a hope and comfort in the Holy Spirit. Christian love, longing for heaven, and spiritual peace all converge in the Spirit.