June 4th – Picturing the Un-picturable



How do you picture the Holy Spirit? All our images fail: All are totally inadequate, and if you can stand a confession, I find even one of the biblical pictures of the Holy Spirit as a dove to be inadequate. To me it is too puny an image, too tiny. Doves are traditionally birds symbolising peace, but such cooing little creatures, timid, ignore-able and trainable, have never conveyed anything of the Almightiness of the Holy Spirit to me. Peace is not fluttering weakness.
It was not until I read T.S. Elliot’s lines that I was arrested by the image.
“The Dove descending breaks the air with flame of incandescent terror … of which the tongues declare!”
In Elliot’s mind this dove ‘weaves an intolerable shirt of flame’. This outstrips all naturally known dove-like images. Perhaps originally the dove’s return to the ark of Noah, holding in its beak a fresh olive leaf was a sign of a new age, a new world rising from the devastated earth. Even so my soul longs for an image of the Holy Spirit in some way big enough to do him honour. Perhaps his intention is precisely to be beyond our cages of words and images so as to let men see Jesus without confusion.
It was Jesus who said it was good for his followers that he must leave them physically in order that the Holy Spirit could come to them all. It was not so much as God leaving them, but God coming to them in a more intimate, personal and powerful way. Not only to be with them, but to be also in them. Infinitely within them.
Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14: 23 and 25-26
Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Henrietta Amber wrote: “and every virtue we possess, and every victory won, and every thought of holiness, ARE HIS ALONE ”

A Prayer:
O God, mighty, mysterious and invisible to mortal eyes, I marvel and worship at the revelation of Jesus, fully a human being but totally displaying the person of the Holy Spirit embodied and down to earth.

Now read Revelation Chapter 1.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Thought 4 The Day

Before Christ, a man loves things and uses people; after Christ he loves people and uses things. (H. Wood)

Through the year calendar

May 2016
M T W T F S S
« Apr «-»  
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Click on any previous date in the above calendar to read the relevant Through The Year post
Believe it or Not
Sometimes you just can't believe it's true!
A Word in Time
Life has a funny way of connecting us all!
Cooke's Tour of The Bible
Frank Cooke's journey through the Old and New Testaments
Take 2
Some useful life lessons
Mind Stretchers
An open mind is a healthy mind!
Bible Bloopers
Even the Bible has its funnies!