Sunday, June 6, 2010
Spirit and Word or Spirit or Word
Kicking around the Anglican blogosphere on a rainy day this thought comes to me, though it has been lurking in my mind for a day or two: all this talk of 'the Spirit', as in 'the leading of the Spirit' and 'listening to the Spirit', can head in two directions, one away from the Word and one towards the Word. Away from the Word seems to be the direction we head when we are doubtful that the Word written down for us in Scripture is relevant today. A kind of post-Word Spirit is being invoked.
Towards the Word is where (my theological education tells me) we should be heading. 'Word and Spirit' go together like 'Father and Son' and 'Word and Sacrament'. Pairs which should be inseparable. The leading of the Spirit is, should be towards God's Word written. Listening to the Spirit is listening to Scripture ... as we affirm Sunday by Sunday in our eucharists after our Old Testament and Epistle readings:
'Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.'