For my last semester, I have decided to take a class on the Holy Spirit. I had an opportunity to take this class early in my college career, but I could not handle something so close to my upbringing. You see, I was raised in a Pentecostal home with a family that has several ministers in this denominational persuasion. Hearing many of the same sermons over and over again, and wanted something less experiential and more intellectual, I left my parents church for a Calvinistic Baptist-y church. I learned that all of the answers to the world’s and mine problems were found in Scripture (and with some from Calvin, of course). In changing my environment, I also had to change the way I viewed the Holy Spirit. She was no longer the Person of the Trinity that granted others to speak in tongues, perform miracles, and act in ways that are not socially accepted. Instead, paraphrasing John Dominic Crossan, I did not see a differentiation between studying the Scriptures and praying. The Holy Spirit came the times that I learned something new in theology and in the Bible. That lasted for about six years, until I eventually ended up at an Episcopal church that meditated and practiced Taize. It was here that I found the Holy Spirit in the quiet times and in during times of comfort.
After all of these experiences with the Holy Spirit, which were all in and around my hometown. I went to undergrad for Theology. I still went/go to church every Sunday and have a nice small community who I can share Eucharist with and share ideas with one another. My theology has changed much since I left my hometown. I have dabbled in many theologies, such as Anabaptistism, Radical Catholicism, Liberation, and Classic Liberalism. I have learned through my studying and experiences that I have a wide ecumenical Christian faith. Yes, I am an anarchist, who loves consensus models, potlucks, and community gardens. Yet, I cannot give up on the Holy Spirit for materialism and rationalism, but at the same time, I enjoy the historical-critical method of reading the Bible.
I am a mixed bag. So for me, the Holy Spirit works in the lives of people, liberating them to be more like our brother Jesus. It is this Holy Spirit who I see guiding people in reconciliation and a deeper commitment to discipleship. It is she who transcends boundaries and comforts those in need.
May God show us all the works that the Holy Spirit does and how we may be a community of believers who follow her and are challenged to live fuller lives in the Trinity.