October 13, 2019
Scripture: Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thought for the Day: Is the power of the Holy Spirit standing on the outside of us sucking the joy from our pores so that it might spill upon the world? Or is the Holy Spirit within us already, and since the Holy Spirit is God, and this God is the God of hope according Paul, then it probably makes more sense that this Holy Presence within us – that is hope and joy and peace – is pressing from the inside as its power cannot be contained. As we will talk about in worship this morning, the Holy Spirit is power (a different kind of power than we usually think of) for the ways of God, yet many Christians are fine with this power if it can be contained, domesticated and made to be predictable. Yet that sounds like an ineffectual and impotent understanding of the Holy. I’d even go as far as saying it sounds like an idol we have created, not in our own image, but for our needs and likes. When it is domesticated, we can put it on display as an ornament of blessing upon whatever decisions we make. But if we choose to allow the Spirit to do what it is trying to do within us and around us, then we need to be prepared for all the stuff for which we cannot prepare. We won’t be leading the Spirit where we want to go, but allowing the Spirit to nudge us into those situations and circumstances where we will feel vulnerable, and even a bit nervous. The Spirit will challenge us to live the Gospel of God’s relentless and unconditional love among folks we might not like. That Spirit might even push us to love our enemy and pray for those who seek to do us harm. Whenever we claim to be following the Spirit, but it looks a whole lot like the life any of us would choose, then we might want to consider whether or not we have domesticated the Spirit for our own use.
Prayer: You have gifted me with your Spirit, Merciful God, and today I will do my best to allow my will to be aligned with the movement of your Spirit. I make this request in the name of Jesus whose life was fully in sync with the Spirit. Amen.
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