I recently received an email from a friend thanking me for the blog. He went on to say that he was amazed at how many blogs that I could write about the Holy Spirit. Well, to date, there have been just over 200 blog postings, a new posting every Monday for the past four years. Occassionally, I’ll post an interesting idea for a service or activity for your children’s ministry (i.e, our Easter Candy Drop or a Gross Out Saturday) or a no brag, just fact picture of the incredibly beautiful Burns family. But, I can safely guess that at least 95% of the postings have been about the Holy Spirit and ushering in a last day move of God’s Spirit in our children.
This week, let me share this thought that I read some time ago from the respected Scottish theologian, William Barclay. Many of you are familiar with Barclay and perhaps have the Barclay Translation in your set of Bible translations. In his commentary of the Gospel of John, Barclay writes, “But Jesus does not leave us to struggle the Christian life alone. He would send us another Helper. The Greek word is parakletos, which is really untranslatable. The Authorized Version renders it Comforter, which, although hallowed by time and usage, is not a good translation. Moffatt translates it as Helper. It is only when we examine this word parakletos in detail that we catch something of the riches of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.”
Barclay is so right. The one word Comforter just doesn’t adequately introduce the Third Person of the Godhead. Perhaps the best attempt at telling who the Holy Spirit is can be found in the Amplified Bible which, when telling of the Comforter, always includes this insertion “Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby”. Again I come back to Barclay and repeat, “It is only when we examine this word parakletos in detail that we catch something of the riches of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.”
Do you have another four years? Can you see how it would be so, so easy to spend blog entry after blog entry on each of the aspects (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby) of the Parakletos and then additional weeks on how each portion of His personality and assignment relates to those of us ministering to children?
This week, do yourself a favor. Take William Barclay’s advice and begin to explore the riches of this Parakletos. Take time to discover Him in each of the aspects shown by the Amplified Bible. Take time to study and then journal what He reveals to you as you begin to know Him as a Counselor and then as a Helper and then … Then, watch out. You and your ministry will never, ever be the same again!