Dousing the Spirit

Lou Lotz

Read: John 14:15-17

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. (v. 16)

I have a blurry childhood memory of going to the circus. There was this juggler in the center ring who lit several torches and then proceeded to juggle them. But no sooner were the torches lit than this loud, silly music came over the loudspeaker, and into the big tent drove a clown fire truck. Bell clanging, siren wailing, the fire truck came careening into the center ring and a half dozen clowns piled out. They wore fire hats and carried hoses and ladders and fire extinguishers. They doused the protesting juggler and his flaming torches and also managed to drench each other, and the ringmaster, and even people in the crowd. What fun!

Jesus tells the disciples that the Father will send them a Helper, the Holy Spirit. Scripture says that when the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, “divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them” (Acts 2:3). How often there will be some small flame in the church, a manifestation of God’s Spirit. But no sooner does the flame appear than a bunch of us clowns in the fire brigade shows up, dousing the work of the Spirit by saying things like: “That’s against the bylaws!” or “That’s not in the budget!” or “We’ve never done it that way before!” If the Spirit seems absent in your church, is it because you are inadvertently dousing him? —Lou Lotz

 As you pray, ask God to help you not quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19).