Daily Devotion 15 May 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

John 16: 7, 12-13 ‘Jesus Promises the Spirit’

Jesus said: 7 “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

The Acts of the Apostles 1: 4-5 ‘The Holy Spirit is Near’

4 While staying with them, Jesus ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father: “This is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Wait.. without expectation
which might focus attention too narrowly,
so that we miss the coming.
Wait with expectancy,
alert, hearts, minds, hands, ears
open to receive the gift.
‘Wait for the Spirit’ by Ann Lewin,
from ‘Watching for the Kingfisher’

On the tall elegant lamppost outside the house I was staying in was a hanging basket, overflowing with trailing plants. From below this basket was nothing much to look at, a tangle of straggling greenery, neither very colourful nor attractive. However, when I viewed it from my bedroom window, which looked down on it, it was transformed. Flowers reached for the sky, greenery seemed to fall in graceful arcs, colours glowed vividly – from this angle the hanging basket looked beautiful. I thought that perhaps here was a parable of the difference between looking at the world through our own eyes and looking at it through God’s eyes. When we look with purely human eyes, from below as it were, we tend to notice imperfections and failings, both in ourselves and in the people we live with and see each day. Perhaps we become critical and discouraging.

What God sees when he looks at each one of us, from above, is the beauty and potential he created. We can see things as God sees them, his Holy Spirit living in us makes this possible, and then we see the world with love. We recognize God’s light in the most unlikely people and situations and we’re able to give help and encouragement. Of course, we need to be open to the Spirit all the time but at this season, as we approach Pentecost and think of the first disciples waiting for our Lord’s promise to be fulfilled, it’s vital that we are prayerfully alert, ready to receive the gift.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, may we stay alert and prepared so that we are ready when that ‘rushing, mighty wind’ comes, bestowing your gifts on us with flames of fire; or perhaps we experience the Spirit more gently as a dove. However it is for us, help us to use the gifts you give wisely and generously, for the good of others, as you intend us to.

May we, like the first disciples, speak out about Christ our Lord, in confidence and faith, so that all around us may come to know his name.AMEN.

Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Ann Caffyn.
Image illustration freely available.

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All material reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356