Love and boldness


“…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.  Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common” (NRSV, Acts 4:31,32)

Although we mention the Holy Spirit every time we say the Creed or the Glory be or the Grace, yet in our thinking about him we are conscious of a vagueness and elusiveness, with the result that, apart from Confirmation or Pentecost, he may seem to play only a small part in our personal relationship with God.

With Our Lord we find it different.  We have the record of his earthly life set out before us in the Gospels; and from all that he said and did we can form a clear idea of what kind of a Person he was and is.  His character is not only definite but understandable because it is presented to us in human terms and human qualities.

So also, though to a lesser degree, with God the Father.  By using the word Father, Our Lord depicted God for us in familiar human terminology that conveys to us the love and care of our Maker.  We can think of the attitude of a good earthly father towards his own small child and can picture God’s own relationship with us in the same way.

But more than that, as Holy Scripture tells us, Our Lord as God’s Son reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature (Hebrews 1:3).  In Our Lord’s own words, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (NRSV, John 14:9).  And so we actually see the character of our Heavenly Father revealed in his Son.

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