|Flock of blackbirds, somewhere down US-68.|
I've been diving into Francis Chan's Forgotten God through a class at Southland, and at our first meeting we were asked what stereotypes we had about the Holy Spirit. Some people said charismatics freak them out, some said conservative churches were dull and lifeless; and others like me didn't have a whole lot to say because I've never really thought about him individually. God the Father makes sense, because I've had parents, and God the Son makes sense because Jesus was human, but I realized in that moment that I couldn't call a picture of the Spirit to mind to categorize him. Perhaps other people had stereotypes to overcome, but it felt like I had to start from scratch. The only concrete image I had was a bird, and if you read all the passages in the New Testament about him you'll see pretty quickly that in no way covers it. Words like strength, surrender, power, and change are always in the mix when he's involved.
Chan's book is all about understanding the pivotal role the Spirit plays and how to really integrate him into your life - a bit like putting the right face on him.