Every now and then it is good to remind ourselves of the etymology of the words that we use. I particularly like the meaning of the word 'enthusiasm.'
Furthermore, the word Enthusiasm, arrives from the greek word enthusia, which by turn arrives from the word En theos. so when we say that we feel enthusiasm, it means that at that moment we feel like we have God inside us.
I am currently continuing to enjoy Tomlin's essay from "The Holy Spirit in the World Today." He writes an essay entitled 'Life in the Spirit - Identity, vocation and life in the Spirit.' Tomlin seems full of enthusiasm to me, as though he has not forgotten his 'first love' (Jesus' call to the church in Revelation).
The book of Revelation particularly seemed to accompany me, in my thinking, as I went to India Indaba. Certain sentences resonated and I am still trying to unpick why. I will aim to do so with my spiritual director.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy
I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches...’
I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
Anyway, we all hear clarion calls from time to time and 'The Holy Spirit in the World Today' is one of those books that continues to ring out much like the book of Revelation as I continue a reading program through the bible. I did not study a module on this book of the bible at college but I am realising that those 'top up your theology' modules at my theological college could become very necessary.
I particularly love some of these reflections from Tomlin's essay about the Holy Spirit and our identity and vocation.
'...the Holy Spirit unites us with Christ so that we can know the love of the Father for the Son, not just objectively acknowledged, but subjectively experienced by our being brought into Christ...the Spirit is seen as actively proceeding from the Father and the Son. This is a vibrant, active, alive Spirit who welcomes us into the act of divine hospitality that beats at the heart of the universe. This is clearly the sense meant by Calvin when he describes a similar idea: 'The Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectually unites us to himself...he unites himself to us by the Spirit alone.' (Calvin, Institutes, III.I & III.3)
...we should never separate pneumatology from Christology...the Holy Spirit...is the Spirit if Christ [helping] us understand something of what Christians mean when they speak of the love of God. ...Experiences of the Holy Spirit are often spoken of in terms of 'power' or manifest themselves for example in dramatic experiences of healing... Perhaps divine healing should be seen as the result of being embraced in the Son by the Father in the power of the Spirit.
Jonathan Edwards says that the mark of a genuine act of God is the turning of an impersonal knowledge about God into a deeply personal love for him. The believer finds an appetite for God, a 'certain divine spiritual taste' that did not exist before.' ...faith brings about an ability to see beauty in God, finding him desirable and pleasing, rather than distant or forbidding, or non-existent as he may have seemed before. Edwards knows that a true love for God cannot be generated by reason or moral effort: it can only arise through the work of the Spirit.
...believers and unbelievers have notions of God, however only believers grasp the 'divine excellency,' and this is not just a different way of interpreting experience, but a completely new ability to perceive the divine glory, holiness or beauty...accessible... by the light of the Holy Spirit...the apprehension of an objective reality...Edwards' suggestion helps us define what we mean when we speak, perhaps rather loosely of 'experiences of the Spirit.'
...this gives the vital clue to the question of vocation. [It] ...means being involved in the work of God in Christ through the Spirit, of reconsiling the world to God (2 Cor 5:18-19)...through evangelism...through medical work and prayer for healing, through striving for the good of all people through legal and, perhaps even sometimes illegal ways. We also do it it through Spirit-inspired work that develops the potential of creation through art, technology, the ordering of the world of materials, economies and societies.