What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Rice-A-Roni, Googolplex to Pluto, and the Gift of the Holy Spirit

Our children have an obsession with "googolplex." Something about it being the largest number we can say just makes it extremely handy. They are also fascinated with space, but a little fuzzy about what's in it.

So Emma Kate (age 3) and I have a sort of call-and-response liturgy. She'll say to me, "I love you from here to Pluto googolplex times, Daddy!" And I'll say back to her, "Oh, man, that's a lot! I love you from here to the nearest black hole googolplex times, Emma Kate!"

It makes for a whole lot of love around the Kirk house--on our good days, at least.

It seems to me that for many of us who didn't grow up in a more charismatic Christian tradition don't have any idea what to do with the Holy Spirit.

For those of us in more evangelical circles, we'd rather have Jesus. The Holy Spirit is like the consolation prize on a bad game show: a year supply of Rice-A-Roni and the Holy Spirit.

But the Holy Spirit is the love and power that occur between the Father and the Son. It's like they're going back and forth, telling each other how much they love each other--even more than from here to Pluto googolplex times---and it's so fierce it gives rise to this third member of the Godhead, the Spirit.

Ever visited a family that just loves each other so much you can feel it? Ever been to a family reunion or a a home that's centered, rich, joyful, loving, gracious? It's authentic, peaceful, enveloping. It makes you feel right at home.

This is the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is the Spirit that invites us into the presence of a perfect and holy and loving God and empowers us to feel right at home--even when we have no business being there. The Holy Spirit is the power and peace of God, extended to us as we join his family.

Hopefully Emma Kate and I will continue to grow in our love for each other. We might even get a better concept of what "googolplex" really means.

But a far greater gift to us both would be to embrace this gift of the Holy Spirit offered to us by the Father and the Son. A "welcome home" gift that frees us from worry, fear, anxiety, doubt, sin. The Spirit that embraces us as sons and daughters of God.

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