SERMON TITLE: “I Believe in the Holy Spirit” (Series on The Apostles’ Creed)
SERMON TEXT: John 14:15-27
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: February 10, 2019, at First UMC (Boy Scout Sunday)
Because today is Boy Scout Sunday, I decided to do a little reading this week about Boy Scout Spirit. Wikipedia says that “Scout Spirit is an ideal attitude that Scouts around the world are supposed to show, based on adherence to the Scout Oath and Law.” Wikipedia went on to say that, before a Boy Scout advances to a new rank, he has to demonstrate this Scout Spirit.1
Defining the subject a little more, the website ScoutMerit.org indicates that a Scout shows “Scout spirit by being a role model to his peers” within the Boy Scout organization and in everyday life. “The concept of Scout spirit is not based on how many Scouting events or outings a Scout attends, but rather by how he helps bring out the best in others as a reflection of his own character and attitude in his ‘daily’ life.”2
I was interested in Scout Spirit because the theme of today’s worship service—besides Boy Scout Sunday—is the Holy Spirit. Ever since the beginning of the year, I’ve been preaching a sermon series based on The Apostles’ Creed. On the first Sunday, we talked about our belief in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. The next four Sundays, we affirmed our belief in God’s fully-divine/fully-human Son Jesus, his suffering and death, resurrection, and ascension. Now, today, we come to the Holy Spirit.
Of the three persons of the divine Trinity, the Holy Spirit is probably the least understood and the most confusing. For example, within Christianity, there has been a nearly two-thousand year debate and division over whether the Holy Spirit proceeds just from God the Father or also from Jesus the Son. Since that deeply philosophical and theological debate can boggle our minds, today I invite you to look with me, instead, at something a lot simpler. By examining what Jesus taught his disciples in John, chapter 14, let’s see if we can get a better handle on what it means for us to say, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.”