The disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52 NASB When I teach young children about worship we talk about it as a party. People (or at least some people) dress up and wear special clothes, there is singing and music, candles and special food, and we get to be there with all our friends... it's a party! Somewhere along the way we have lost the sense of the celebration. Not only is God's celebration full of fun, it's ongoing, not just a "Sunday" thing. Perhaps today is the day we can find it again. The Holy Spirit has an invitation for you, and it will be a great party, (as my southern friends would say) I hope all y'all come on by and join the fun! A toast to you my friend! The party has just begun!
You are here
I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. This other helper is the Spirit of truth. ....you know him, because he lives with you, and will be in you. John 14:16, 17 The Kingdom New Testament N. T. Wright God knows I need help! God knows I need help. God... knows...I...need...help. We all do. None of us can do this alone, and, thanks be to God, we are not expected to. In some translations the Holy Spirit is refered to as the Comforter and as much as I long for comfort, most of the time I can use help, someone to help me find the right way, to walk toward the things that bring me life, real life, true life. That is our promise that the Holy Spirit lived within us, guiding, comforting, and helping us find the way. Thanks be to God, I can sure use the help! Accept help today, from God and from others.
I have said these thing to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything. John 12:23 Somehow when I read this verse it feels like someone cancelled the final exam that I've been dreading! I don't have to have it all figured out! I'm not required to know how it all works together, how to live a whole life of devotion, of loving life and God. I can learn it one bite at a time, one step at a time. The Holy Spirit will take care of how it all fits together. I'll just work on today, on being kind to the ones I'm around, on being truthful and straightforward, on doing what needs to be done. I think maybe, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can handle that. One step at a time, may we be just a little better today.
Eyes wide open yet for this busy day? Here's a little something a Jerusalem friend sent me. I refer to it when a full day lies ahead. 'There's work to do, deadlines to meet; You've got no time to spare, But as you hurry and scurry- ASAP .- ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER. God knows how stressful life can be; God wants to ease your cares; And God will respond to all your needs ASAP. ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER. Go get 'em Bunky.
"Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty four new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion." Thich Nhat Hanh knows how to wake up. Waking up is more than throwing your sorry carcass out of bed and heading for the shower, it's also about kick starting your sense of being. Awakening is about finding your moral compass, locating your sense of humor and uncovering blessing along your path today because you viewed things through eyes of compassion.
Really? Monday? Start it off right by remembering who you really are and whose you really are. You are a person of God and you belong to God. That's good news, especially on a Monday so far from the next Sabbath. Or is it? Might you plan a few 'Sabbath' minutes for quiet and calm once or twice in your otherwise busy day? Try it. It'll help. A very wise priest and Paleontologist, Teilhard de Chardin, spoke the truth when he declared, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Really! Monday.
Happy Sunday! That's what a wonderful young mother says to me every week at St. Matthew's. I love it when she is a Greeter at the door. She knows that we come to worship and prayer with every imaginable joy and challenge (and some unimaginable ones) and yet this saint welcomes us. Our Greeters are also ushers. They not only welcome us, they help us find our way to the altar, the table of blessing and renewal, healing, forgiveness and strength. Not all the saints are up in heaven. Happy Sunday.
Dear God, for this new day and all your gifts I give you thanks. OK, now that you're in spiritual gear first thing in the morning, raise up the people you love in prayer by simply saying their name to God in your heart of hearts. (As one of my son's football coaches once barked, 'I've got two words for you, just do it!') He was not a math guy. Just do it. Say the names of the ones you love to God - to God who knows their needs and will be with them. The Lord be with you too today.
What time is it? It's morning, Friday morning, in the springtime, in New Hampshire. God is still showing off as nature's wonders literally unfold before your awakening eyes. What time is it? It's time for something for every single one of us. Last day of college? Start of a long vacation weekend? Dentist appointment? Business meeting? Bruins, Celtics or RedSox game later? A good friend's wake? Dinner and a movie later on? It's time for something. See if you can muster up some goodness and be a source of blessing in your time. In the 1500's Teresa of Avila said, "Christ has no body on earth but yours; yours are the only hands with which He can do His work, yours are the only feet with which Christ can go about the world, yours are the only eyes through which His compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world." It's time to rise and shine.
Awaken and read a spiritual meditation? Awaken and think to give thanks to God? Wake up to offer your challenges to God for a little extra guidance today? Open your eyes to a fresh spring day and think religiously? What is this all about? It's about morphing into a more spiritually grounded person. It's about devotion, becoming a person fueled by devotion. It makes a difference. The world class opera star Luciano Pavarotti once said, "People think I'm disciplined. It is not discipline. It is devotion. There is a difference." Nobody and no religious institution can make you, impose a discipline on you to love life and God. Let it be a natural outgrowth of devotion to the good stuff. It may be that you are reading spiritual reflections right now because, well, you are becoming a little more devoted. What a great awakening.