I may have mentioned some point that I love my preaching team at church. Just over a year ago, Pastor Jan asked eight of us to be on a preaching team, to bring different voices to the pulpit once in a while. Because of workloads, there are about five of us on the team right now. We meet each Monday to review the sermon from that weekend and to help with anything on the two upcoming sermons. Those not directly involved in the sermons being looked at don't have to be there.
I love going to those preaching team meetings. They're more fun that most Bible studies I've been a part of as we get to really look at a text and ask what it means for us...what God's word to our church is.
As we looked at the passages for the next two weeks, they continued very well upon the message I spoke this past Sunday. I talked about how Advent isn't just about waiting for Christmas, but waiting for Christ to return. We are Advent people...not just focusing on the four weeks before Christmas, but living all of our lives in wait of Christ's return. Hence, how we wait matters. How we live matters.
I'm going to try and not ruin any upcoming sermons for people from Abbey Way, but tonight we talked about the role of the Holy Spirit in our waiting and living, as well as being open to the bigness of God and what He call us to do (like calling a teenage unwed girl from obscurity to be the mother of God).
Most of us who follow God don't fully grasp what it means to live by the Holy Spirit. I admit that I don't. I try. But I don't think I've got it yet. We tend to either be afraid of the Holy Spirit because we don't understand that person of the Trinity at all (Father we understand, Son we understand...but how do you understand a spirit?) or we embrace the Holy Spirit to the point of fanaticism. But the majority of us tend to ignore the Holy Spirit because we don't understand or are afraid.
I believe we (as primarily Western believers since those in the East tend to have a better grasp of this) need to cultivate a deeper understanding and practice of what it means to live by the Holy Spirit. To live well, to wait well as Advent people, we need the Holy Spirit. We can't do it on our own. It's food for thought at least.