Benedictions are pronounced in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Look who is last. We call the Holy Spirit the “Third person of the Trinity” but do we call Jesus the “Second person of the Trinity” - why is that? The Apostles Creed speaks of the attributes of God the Father in majestic terms - creator of Heaven and Earth. How awesome is that! The same creed recites the major movements of Jesus’s life from birth to death. But when the creed takes on the Holy Spirit all we get is a simple, prosaic, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit fares little better in Christian Theological writing. Karl Barth, the preeminent theological writer and thinker of the last century wrote thirty-one volumes of Church Dogmatics, systematically exploring an exhaustive theology of God, Christ, and the Church but died before he could focus on -- and the Holy Spirit. Thirty-one volumes and no time for the Holy Spirit.
The third person of the Trinity is often a distant third to God the Father, and the Son when we seek to reckon with the totality of God. Our lack of focus on the Holy Spirit is a problem as we are missing out on the active, real, working presence of God that is with us now. This is God acting in our present reality, not a God confined to the ancient past. The Holy Spirit is the gift of God given to us each day and the power to live our own lives with God in the now. Spending four Sundays on this topic will be a great investment in our growth and understanding of how God is with us in the here and now.