Did you ever inherently know something – even if you didn’t understand it – you just knew it in your bones? I think something like that happened to me on Sunday.
I’ve often heard the words spirit and soul used interchangeably and entangled in such a way as to mean the same thing, but they’re not. I believe every person has a soul and a spirit because in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul separates the two:
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Certainly he is not telling the Holy Spirit to be blameless, so we must have both a spirit and a soul as well as the Holy Spirit (if you’re Christian).
Before I get too off track, let me mention that John Ortberg spoke at our church this weekend. I was excited to hear him because I’d just finished his book Who Is This Man? The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus (Zondervan, 2012) which I thoroughly enjoyed … but before he took the platform, we had communion.
As I’ve matured in my Christianity the taking of communion has become a very solemn and special occasion where I am reminded of the Lord’s great love for me by leaving His throne and dying on a cross for me.
But this past Sunday, I had the oddest sensation. As the pastor leading us in communion spoke about the body and the bread and the wine and the blood, I started to wonder …What if, when we take communion, our soul is spiritually reconnecting with God … our Father and our Christ … by reestablishing our connection with Him through this ritual?
After all, didn’t our souls know Him before we were born? In Jeremiah 1:5(a) we hear:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;
God appointed (or set apart) Jeremiah to be a prophet, just as He appointed me to write and counsel and you to … what? He knows the plans He has for us. (Jeremiah 29:11a).
So as I jotted these thoughts down on a piece of paper after communion, you can imagine my surprise when Pastor Ortberg steps up and starts talking about the soul. The Soul!
Was the Holy Spirit at work that day?
I’ve never once associated the holy sacrament of communion with my soul. But that day, as I was in prayer and partaking of the body and the blood of my Savior, my soul was humming, vibrating with a divine connection that I hadn’t been aware of previously.
Too far out there? Perhaps. But I’m glad I have this forum to explore these things with you.
Thanks for listening!
Image courtesy of TheVerbChurch.com