The other day my friend Brian asked me, “How do you know if a community is filled with the Holy Spirit?” I said, “Speaking in tongues, signs & wonders, shouting, clapping, and wild dancing!” Brian said, “mmmm.” “What do you mean ‘mmmm’?” I asked. Brian said, “How do you address people in ECLT?” I was starting to feel suspicious, so I said, “Why do you ask?” Brian said, “Here’s the deal, the most profound evidence of The Holy Spirit is experienced when people address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, being thankful, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

I was shocked. I said, “There’s no way!” Brian said, “Yeah. It’s true.” “Singing and submission are the telltale signs of The Spirit!?” I balked. Brian said, “Yeah. It’s true.”

Tense silence.

I opened my mouth to speak, but then decided not to say anything.

Ruminating silence.

“So, what about Jesus!? He would never submit to sinful people!” I asserted triumphantly. Brian said, “I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Jesus was submissive to his parents.” “But his parents were certainly wrong about stuff from time to time!” I asserted triumphantly. Brian said, “I suppose that makes His submission all the more impressive!”

Game-set-match silence.

“Touché.” I said.

Settling silence.

“So, how do you think Jesus processed stuff when He knew His parents were wrong?” I asked.

Brian said, “I think He prayed the Psalms.”

Pondering silence.

“Do we have any of Jesus’ old journals?” I asked.

“No, we don’t have anything written by Jesus.” Brian said.

“Do you think the reason Jesus didn’t publish anything is because He was so invested in the Psalms, Torah, and Prophets (i.e. the Word of God), and He is the embodied Word of God?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” Brian asked.

I said, “I don’t know. Like, maybe one of the reasons we need to journal, and compose, and process our thoughts and feelings in writing is because we are sinful. Not that writing is a sin, but rather, perhaps God has made a provision for us in writing because we are sinful. So we have to take God’s Word and process it with our words …but Jesus (because He is the Word of God in the flesh) can embrace the Word of God so perfectly that He doesn’t need to publish anything “in His own words” because the Words of God are His own Words? Perhaps the closest we come to what Jesus experienced all the time is when we address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs?”

“Maybe.” Brian replied.

Musing silence.