Many people have told me over the years “they are spiritual but not religious.” I’m writing to you during the season of Pentecost. It is our time to reflect on and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is “holy” for a number of reasons. One reason that I will touch on is the Holy Spirit relates and unites us to the will of God. The Holy Spirit binds and ties together my spiritual life with my religious beliefs. In other words, I’m spiritual but I’m also religious. Here’s why.
Anyone can be spiritual. In fact, I would go so far as to say everyone is spiritual. We all have a spiritual life. We are spiritual beings who literally are trying to figure out what in the world it means to be a human being. That is another story.
If you buy what I am selling so far — that we are all spiritual beings — then we need to pay attention to the spiritual world and the spirits that surround us day in and day out. There are good spirits. But it is important to recognize there are bad spirits as well. Bad spirits are the dark, destructive, yes, demonic spirits that can really hurt and make a mess.
Here again, when people say “they are spiritual but not religious” they need be careful. Spirits have energy and a force and power — like electricity — and if you don’t know what you are working with, it could be harmful or dangerous.
By the way, for you Kentucky people who might be reading this, did you know whiskey and bourbon often are referred to as “spirits?” That is just an aside, but also a reminder how are our vocabulary and choice of words can lead us.
I am digressing. Come back with me to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is holy. That means it is a good spirit. It is worth paying attention to its’ presence. I once heard the Holy Spirit referred to as a relief pitcher in baseball. Play with that image for a moment. A relief pitcher comes into a game to save. Though it may be only a few pitches or innings, we count on and depend upon the relief pitcher. It is an important position. Each throw is designed to prevent any further damage or loss.
So, the Holy Spirit, like the relief pitcher enters the game just in time and brings God into our lives and introduces us to Jesus. The function or job is one of sanctification, that is making life holy. A holy life is one that simply functions and works well with God’s will, that is life is functional rather than what is often referred to these days as, dysfunctional.
It is OK to be holy. It means you simply function well with God. Life and Spirit, religion and spirituality, the human and divine join hands, as we enter the sanctuary, and the sanctifier — the Holy Spirit — who makes life holy. There is sanctity to life, your life and mine, as we worship in the sanctuary during the season of Pentecost, singing the Sanctus: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts: Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High.”