Hi there! I’ve been looking forward to writing about this all week! Now that there’s a lull in the rush of cute little ghouls and goblins making the rounds of the neighbourhood, I thought this might be the perfect time.
Somehow a lot of people think of religion and ghosts as going together. Spirits and the spiritual? Why not?
If you look into it, though, you’ll find that when reading through the Bible you don’t run into many ghosts, really. And the Bible’s most popular “ghost” is the “Holy Ghost”, which really is an older way of talking about God the “Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is considered the “third person” of the Holy Trinity, which includes God the Father, God the Son (also known as Jesus Christ, the Messiah), and God the Holy Spirit.
Several times in the New Testament, the disciples (followers and students of Jesus) thought they saw a ghost, like when they saw Jesus walking on the water, or the time Peter escaped from prison, led by an angel of the Lord, and came to the house where they were praying. Both of these men were real flesh and blood, however, not ghosts at all (though in the case of Jesus, he was both human and God, but that’s another story). For some examples of Bible texts that talk about ghosts, see https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=ghost&qs_version=NIV
Many of us may feel afraid at the idea of meeting up with a real ghost, and we may not be too keen to meet God, in the form of His Holy Spirit, either. However, we don’t need to be afraid. After all, Jesus told His followers that the Holy Spirit would be sent to them to help them, not to scare them. He said ” If I go, the comforter will come to you.” Imagine God sending His Holy Spirit to give power, courage, wisdom and strength to His followers, many of whom were confused and fearful after the events of Jesus’ betrayal, crucifixion, and death. In the end they received not only the holy Spirit, but also Jesus Himself, risen from the dead.
At Hallowe’en there is a lot of talk about death, spirits, ghosts, and evil. The accounts of Jesus’ own words about Himself make clear that He understood Himself as having come from God to conquer death and fear. “Perfect love drives out fear…” and “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend.”
May the “Holy Ghost” be a great encouragement to all who seek the power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit, who was sent “to guide us into all truth”!
Oh, here come some more trick-or-treaters. I’d better go. Have a great night. And may God’s Holy Spirit be with you!