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I have often seen cars used for more than simply driving. They are often a repository of items someone might need halfway through the day - oftentimes items that had been applied in the morning but will need to be reapplied in the afternoon. Things like cologne/perfume, deodorant, chapstick, and like. These things often have to get reapplied because the original scent/relief wears off throughout the day - it has to get reapplied.

This similar idea pops up in John 1:32. John the Baptist is addressing the crowd about Jesus and he says, "And John bore witness: 'I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.'"

Before this moment there was a rudimentary, developing understanding of the Holy Spirit, and until this point, the general experience of the Holy Spirit is that it came for a moment to rest on someone uniquely and then left. It didn't last.

However, John the Baptist sees a scenario in which the Spirit does not arrive and then depart, but instead remains on Jesus. A quick search of the word shows that throughout the New Testament remain is also translated to dwell, to continue, to endure. In other words, the Holy Spirit on Jesus is going to be a continuous experience throughout his ministry.

This Epiphany season we are reminded that because of Christ, the experience of the Holy Spirit remaining on believers isn't just a Jesus event - but now a people-of-God event.

  • "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" - 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him." - Romans 8:9
  • "But I say, walk by the Spirit." - Galatians 5:16

And the list could go on.

The main idea is that life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is this ongoing reminder of the invitation and expectation that we can live a life aware that the Holy Spirit wants to remain on us (not fade throughout the day, week, or season) and is a source of empowerment for the various hats we wear, occupations we work, and vocation we are called to fulfill.