Come Holy Spirit

God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

Today’s text reminds us of the Father announcing his affirmation and blessing upon his son Jesus at his baptism as the Holy Spirit descends upon him like a dove. However mysterious is the action of the Holy Spirit, it does seem that the Father wants our communities to bear witness to the Spirit’s presence and action in our lives. Sometimes we need others to lay hands on us, pray with us and help us see the Spirit who has been given to us.

Acts 8:14-17 (NLT)

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. 15 As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:14-17 (TMG)

When the apostles in Jerusalem received the report that Samaria had accepted God’s Message, they sent Peter and John down to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Up to this point they had only been baptized in the name of the Master Jesus; the Holy Spirit hadn’t yet fallen on them. Then the apostles laid their hands on them and they did receive the Holy Spirit.

For Reflection and Prayer:

Was there a word, a phrase, image, or feeling that shimmered as you listened? Bring it into your prayer with Jesus. Perhaps you want to draw or color your prayer.

Reflect upon how you have experienced the Holy Spirit in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you where you may have missed the Presence. Journal what comes to mind.

Where are you longing to witness the Holy Spirit at work in your life? Bring this longing into your prayer. As the prayer comes to a close, give yourself some time to surrender in quiet trust that the Spirit is in you and with you.

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When Jesus Comes Towards Us

Unexpectedly, Jesus comes towards us often disguised in ways in which we cannot see him. Jesus comes to us in our place of need, yet sometimes we are desperately afraid of our true need. It is hard to imagine Jesus wanting to meet us somewhere we do not want to be. Still, he comes and descends gently upon us through his Spirit. Be still and rest in Christ's presence as you pray with John's testimony of Jesus coming towards him.

John 1:29-34 (NLT)
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

For Reflection and Prayer:

What did you hear as you listened or read the text? Did something particular catch your attention? Bring it into conversation with Jesus.

Give yourself room for the word to affect you. What are you feeling or sensing? Gently bring this awareness into your prayer with Jesus.

Savor any consoling words or pictures as you quietly rest in God.

Our Identity As Beloved

It is significant for our life to be able to absorb that as Christ is, so we also are in relationship with God. We are beloved. God is so pleased with us and takes great joy in us as we take steps that demonstrate our desire for God.

In this passage, as also with us, hearing and experiencing who we are as God's beloved as God's Spirit whispers into our soul, gives us courage and capacity to know how to stand in the face of deception, temptation, fears and anxieties. God's love and Spirit grounds us in our identity.  God's Word speaks truth to us and God's angels minister to us.

Mark 1:9-13 NLT
One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting part and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a  dove. And a voice from heaven said, "You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy."

The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

For Reflection and Prayer:
What did you hear as you listened? A word? A phrase?
How is your heart being spoken to at this moment?
What is God's invitation for you through what you heard?
What is your response/question?