The Communion Of The Holy Spirit
June 5, 2022 Pastor: Rev. Dean Kavouras
Christ Lutheran Church
June 5, 2022
by: Rev. Dean Kavouras
The Communion Of The Holy Spirit
I speak these words among you while I am still with you, but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit whom the Father sends in my name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I have said to you. (John 14:21-26)
In today’s Old Testament lesson we find man erecting the City of Man, but in today’s 2nd reading we find the Holy Spirit erecting the City of God, the church of the Living God.
The former is temporary, ever changing and subject to all the foibles of man; and therefore the City of Man suffers one distress after another; one loss upon another – and when will it ever end?
But the City of God is permanent, never changing and satisfies every desire and every hope of every human heart. So that if anyone wants peace on earth; they want church on earth! They want the knowledge of Christ to enlighten humanity’s darkness, and the Spirit of God to renew the face of the earth.
And so the City of God calls to the City of Man today and says:
Abandon your vain towers Oh Babblers!
And enter into the church of the
Living God where you will find
Light and Life.
Now all Christians are familiar with the tenets of our religion. We know that the First Person of the Trinity, God the Father Almighty, is the Maker of heaven and earth.
We know that he gave his one and only Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, to offer up the perfect Sacrifice needed to heal the divorce of Eden, under which we all presently suffer.
And this brings us to day’s gospel in which Jesus teaches us about the Third Person of the Trinity whom we confess to be: the “Lord and Giver of Life.”
Now today’s gospel was written and preserved to fill up the minds and hearts, and hopes of the faithful with gemstones of Sacred Knowledge that satisfy like none other. And they are these:
First that the Holy Spirit is called the Paraclete – which means one who stands with you at your side. Paraclete is often thought of in terms of the courtroom. He is the attorney who never lost a case, coming to your defense against all accusers all penalty and loss, and to display your innocence for all the world to see.
But Paraclete can also mean Comforter. He is your “wing man “who never leaves you on your own during times of trouble, but stays with you and serves as a constant source of comfort and strength. A Paraclete always has your six! The Spirit that the Father sends in Jesus’ name does all of that and more.
Secondly that He is in the words of our Catechism, the one who, “calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the true faith.” The faith that cleanses us from sin, saves us from death, and gives us victory over every opponent.
Next that he is our power source. He is not renewable energy, but inexhaustible energy! Without him we can know nothing, believe nothing, do nothing, be nothing. But with him we can do all things!
When he is blasphemed he withdraws and we die, and return to dust. But when the Father sends him forth in Jesus’ name he “renews the face of the earth.”
The Spirit teaches the church all the things she needs to know so that so that she might conduct herself with reverence and awe in the midst of a “crooked and perverse generation.”
This is the same Spirit who “spake by the prophets,” who inspired the “Holy Men of God” to write our Holy Book so that their words, are actually his words; and they are faithful and true.
But not only does the Spirit give Scripture to the church; but also preserves it and propagates; so that even in this day of white-hot rage against the Lord and his Christ: the Bible is still the world’s best selling book.
Still "a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path.” (Ps. 119:105)
When the Lord says that, “the Spirit will teach you all things,” we mean more than just Scripture alone, but must include:
1 the great theologians whom the Spirit taught to produce the church’s liturgies, prayers, creeds and hymns.
2 must include the great Christian interpreters and teachers of Scripture whom we call “Church Fathers” whom the Spirit led to write inspired words for the church; and preserved them as well so that today, though centuries old, you can get their works on your Kindle for $1.99.
3. must include the great artisans of the ages whom he taught to construct breath-taking sanctuaries to the glory of God and the blessing of men. Edifices that preach the gospel day and night without uttering a single word.
For a local example we only need view the gleaming golden domes of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Parma as they turn men’s eyes upwards to the beauty of holiness. (Ex. 28:3 etc.)
4 must include those to whom the Spirit gave aesthetic gifts so that they are able to produce liturgical furnishings, arts, icons, vestments, fragrances, oils and bells, but above all
the unity of the Spirit
and the Bond of Peace,
that never perishes, spoils, or fades away.
But not only does the Spirit who came this day “teach the church all things,” but he also causes her to “remember” all that Jesus said to us. Most particularly his words, “This Do In Remembrance Of Me.”
Without the Spirit there is no Scripture or Sacrament. But by his power the Precious Sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood, the very Living Bread of Heaven that gives us like, is preserved for us, and among us.
How vital is the Holy Spirit to Holy Communion?
How do we know this? We know it because Jesus’s clearest teachings about this Third Person of the Holy Trinity come to us in chapters 14, 15 & 16 of St. John’s gospel which take place on Maundy Thursday at the Institution of the Eucharistic Feast; and so Spirit and Sacrament are inseparable.
St. Paul understood this when, in one of the church’s earliest Eucharistic Prefaces, he calls the Sacrament: the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Communion of the Holy Spirit.
Now there is much, much more that we can say about these matters, but for now let us praise God from whom all blessings flow … let us praise Father Son and Holy Ghost. Amen