Monday, November 5, 2012

How Reading a Vampire Book Showed Me a Picture of the Holy Spirit - Agent Change

(CLICK HERE for previous chapter - Intro.)
Defining the Holy Spirit can be tricky even though the amount of information available to us is actually quite vast. I believe the first step in understanding the Holy Spirit is asking the correct question. And that question is notWhat is the Holy Spirit?’ but rather ‘Who is the Holy Spirit?’
What infers inanimate, non-living, a thing just like any other thing.
But Who starts us off with the fact of personality, a living being, an active thought-producing person involved in anything and everything God and Jesus are part of – I mean, the Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity – in fact making the Trinity a triune relationship of three lives – not just two lives and a ‘what.’
What we get hung up on is the Holy Spirit’s abilities that far outdo anything we as humans can even think of doing. But just because He’s never been human doesn’t mean He isn’t a personality, a living being. A spirit, yes, but also a Who.
Since, however, He’s never worn human flesh like Jesus does, our frame of reference becomes less concrete. We must use similes and metaphors and parables and illustrations in order to glimpse even part of the Holy Spirit’s scope in our lives.
Here are a few examples I’ve heard over the years –
* For a child, explaining might be as simple as saying the Holy Spirit is our conscious. Perhaps a good place to start, but He’s much much deeper than that!
* How about The Force in the Star Wars epic? Not a complete analogy, and probably not what its author intended, but it has a few traits, right?
* In the book, The Shack, William P. Young describes his Holy Spirit character as a gardener, tending to the garden of hearts, weeding and planting and growing and pruning and producing fruit in our lives. That one comes in handy for me quite often.
* I heard a sermon once that likened the Holy Spirit to an engagement ring, a seal or proof of contract/covenant between betrothed lovers. Several verses in Scripture back this up, like 2 Corinthians 5:5, Acts 15:8 and Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30. 
* This one has always made sense to me – the Holy Spirit is like the wind. Unseen except through its effects, can be a gentle breeze or a fierce and destructive gale, either way powerful to the Nth degree.
I could go on, citing the Scriptures that tell us exactly who He is and what we can know about Him – for example, He was present at Creation, obviously as part of the Trinity, but He was essential in the immaculate conception of Jesus in Mary. Mysterious, not really scientifically explained, but immense in results that are proven facts! The Bible also calls Him Fire, Comforter, Gift, Advocate, Greater One than Jesus (in Jesus’ own words), Teacher, Filler, Truth, Testifier, Promise, Enabler, Guide, Encourager, Guard, Informer (as in giver of prophetic words), and… Sanctifier.
The thread that ties all these analogies together, or at least makes them similar to each other, is that, in a nutshell, the Holy Spirit is the sole (and soul) Agent of Change. No one can get from mortal human to immortal human without Him and the Change He accomplishes.
This brings us to the subject at hand.
In the Twilight Saga, our hero is Edward Cullen – vampire. When he was 17 and still human, he became a victim of the Spanish flu epidemic that killed his parents. Dr. Cullen, already a centuries-old vampire, found Edward nearly dead and ‘saved’ him by making him into a vampire.
So, how does that happen? Vampire venom is injected into the veins, transforming the entire circulatory system – specifically the heart and blood. This transformation, though painful, includes benefits of enhanced senses, super abilities, and oh yea – immortality. The venom has changed what was mortal into the eternal.
The venom is key, the Agent of Change, the difference between Edward’s immortal existence and his true love’s, Bella’s, fragile, human, mortal one. She is determined to become ‘like’ him, as we are when we decide to follow our Perfect Lover Jesus’ desire that we be transformed into His image. It’s just that when she accepts his hand, as we do when we accept Jesus as our Savior, Bella is not fully aware of how difficult her sanctifying process will be. She anticipated suffering, as we should (1 Peter 4:12-13).
But she didn’t foresee that she’d have to die first. Did you?
I hope you’ll keep following me through How Reading a Vampire Book Showed Me a Picture of the Holy Spirit. Have a wonderful day, Dry Ground friends!
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