The gospel lectionary reading this week is very short, only a handful of verses. Jesus continues speaking about the Holy Spirit. We celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost this past Sunday in worship. The amazing and awesome gift of God’s presence with each of one who calls on the name of the Lord. The lectionary reading takes us back to Jesus’ words about what the Holy Spirit will do. And this week we get to one of my favorite roles of the Holy Spirit, and one of the places in my life that I have known the Holy Spirit to be most active.When you are trying to learn something new you can almost always go check out a book about it at the library. Whether it is learning to play guitar, build a wooden sailboat, work on a car, learn about the past, understand money, or thousands of other topics, there is a book written about what you want to learn. And the book can be a good and useful way to learn… but isn’t it better to have a teacher? An instructor there with you, to guide you? Think about the things you have learned. If I had picked up a book about learning to play the trumpet, I would have struggled mightily to progress (and even with some of the best teachers I didn’t progress a great deal!). If I had just had my Boy Scout Handbook, and no one to show and explain the ideas in there to me, I probably wouldn’t know anything about camping today. If all I had was a guide book to fishing, I would never have any success on the water. Thankfully for all of those things I had teachers, mentors, peers, and others guiding my progress in addition to any written materials I had on hand.
The Christian faith works like this too. We have a book, but frankly without guidance we struggle to make headway. We need friends, counselors, teachers, and preachers to move forward in our faith. Thankfully we have been gifted with the Church and with many saints in our lives. More importantly, we have been given the greatest mentor and guide possible. The Spirit of God dwells within us, teaching and prodding, drawing us forward in the faith.