Greetings in the Name of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Today, let's consider this Sunday's Epistle Lesson, 1 John 5:4-10, and in particular verses 7 and 8 which read: "For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree."
I, personally, love the way John writes -- John puts before our eyes the depth, the interconnectedness of all the things we see in the Scriptures. Here we see one example - Spirit, Water, and Blood.
In John's account of the crucifixion, John records our Lord's Death by saying that the Lord "gave up His Spirit". And then, the proof of His death is that when the spear is thrust into His side, blood and water flow out from His side. These are the three things that bear witness to our Lord's death - His Spirit is given up, and then the water and the blood - these three all point to the truth that Christ died for us.
Now, consider this. When we think of the Holy Spirit, we ought always also think of God's Word as well - the two go hand in hand. This is clearer in Greek and Hebrew, where the word for "Spirit" can also mean breath -- (this is why breathing is called "reSPIRATion"). When the Word is proclaimed - the Spirit is there. No man can *say* "Jesus is Lord" but by the Holy Spirit. Whenever the Word of Christ is proclaimed, the Holy Spirit is there, active and testifying of what God has done for us.
And consider this - God's Word and Spirit use water in Holy Baptism and bring us forgiveness and faith. God's Word and Spirit use bread and wine and bring to us Christ's Body and Blood. Our life in the Church is establish and revolves around these same three witnesses - Spirit, Water, Blood, all proclaiming Christ the Crucified to us.
We are the people of Word and Sacrament - we live in this witnesses, we grow with their use, we are preserved by them and learn more and more their wonder and their usefulness. It's a wondrous glimpse God gives us into His love for us.
The Lord be with you this week.