The Holy Spirit speaks of hope and promise. This sustains the life of believers. It doesn’t promise that we all get along, agree, and never have conflict. But it does serve as a first installment, a guarantee of sorts even as it creates a certain restlessness for the completion of God’s work.
Why so restless? Because loud business meetings are inconvenient and sometimes embarrassing in the moment to watch. But they are also something else that is quite lovely. They show us that people are passionate and that they care about figuring out how to interpret this call to rebuild, restore, and renew.
He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him? Romans 8:32 CEB
God also sealed us and gave the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts. 2 Corinthians 1:22 CEB
We cannot figure out in perfect unity what it means to have this Holy Spirit with us and in us. We aren’t going to agree on theological points that have confounded and confused generations of scholars.
But I would suggest to us that we don’t have to do any of those things in order to have a rich and rewarding life. It helps us understand that our restlessness isn’t something to squelch, but rather to celebrate. It represents our longing for a God who has got this – but we don’t necessarily see or understand what he’s up to all the time.
What we can practice are the principles he has provided: act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God.
And we can trust that the Holy Spirit is continuing the work of God and Jesus right along beside us. That’s probably more reassuring than Baptist business meetings. But I would also suggest that Baptist business meetings might have more to offer us than we might recognize as young’uns. When a community of people (this presumes that the community lives like this) can come together and live with nothing hidden – no matter how humble the view – that’s a God thing.