What is Paul actually trying to say when he comes out with this odd statement? ‘for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.’ There’s something here about the Holy Spirit being everywhere. Of course God’s Spirit knows all about God, I’m quite keen on that but do I really want him to know all about me? There’s some things I’d like to keep a little bit separate! However it would be convenient if the Spirit would act like a divine alarm clock, reminding me where I’m supposed to be when I’ve written 2.45pm in my diary but no name of who to meet or mention of where to go.
Sadly the Spirit doesn’t seem to work like that very much. He’s rather more keen of nudging me back to Jesus when I try to slip away (which I do rather a lot). What do you think he is saying to us as a Church in February 2021? Your answer may well depend on what you think the Church is here for at the moment. Is Church a support to help you get through the next week of anxious and depressing lockdown? Is Church a force to bring hope and direction to society? Or is there a third option?
Whatever you think, Paul seems to be speaking of the Spirit cajoling us into a state where we can increase our knowledge, not so much information that we know, but rather self-knowledge and knowledge of the purposes of God. Perhaps 2021, when so much of what we have taken for granted is now called into question, is a good year to focus upon this. When next you worship, whether alone or with others, try asking the Spirit to increase your knowledge of yourself and of God and see what happens!
Here’s the Collect for Pentecost
God, who as at this time
taught the hearts of your faithful people
by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit
to have a right judgement in all things
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amex.
You may enjoy listening to this version of Veni Sanctus Spiritu (although some of the translations from the Italian are a little odd!)
“VENI SANCTE SPIRITUS” by Beppe Cantarelli (from “Canto della Passione”) ft. Stradivarius & Unitre – YouTube