John 14:26 But the Advocate, the HolySpirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
We don’t talk very often about the Holy Spirit but it’s tasks are very important. It dwells within us and quides us every day. The Hebrew scriptures attribute 6 characteristics to the spirit.
In the Hebrew Masoretic text the “Spirit of the Lord” is described with six characteristics (wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord), and then the last characteristic (fear of the Lord) is mentioned a second time. (yes Wikipedia but accurate)
We carry the Holy Spirit with us all the time. It is there to guide our ways and hold us when times are hard. It is an advocate…one who speaks for us and with us. It is a gift from God.
During this time where we all are living differently than usual there may be many questions we would like to ask God.
Why did this happen?
Did you let it happen?
What kind of God would do this?
Is this punishment for our sins?
Some people will give answers depending on their point of view. Some people may decide that if this is the kind of God we have they don’t want it. Some people will blame God. Some people will blame themselves or others.
This is a theological conundrum.
The truth is the answer is a matter of faith. It is, mostly, in your image or idea about God. No one can prove any answer. Answers need belief not proof.
Bad things happen to good and bad people. It has been that way from the beginning of life. You have to decide what that means to you and how you will move forward with what you believe.
This time out of time has really been a test. We have all learned things. Some we never wanted to know and some that moved us forward on our journey with God. God didn’t bring this virus but we have all moved through it in whatever way we could. It has been harder for some than others. Loved ones have been lost. Many are grieving. But through it all God has been present. His loving arms have reached out to us. His peace has been offered. All we had to do was to cling on to him.
As this state of the crisis moves on we will experience new things both good and bad. God wants us to have learned from this. Our life is his. His love holds us always.
I have discovered how to make a playlist for my Alexa and have had fun collecting some of my favorite hymns. Yesterday I was thinking about how we can be so intolerant of others. It is so easy to think the worst of those we don’t know. This hymn calls us to see everyone the same.
Victory Send down your roots into deep soil, so that when trouble comes, you can remain steadfast and unmovable, knowing that God always has the final word. And rejoice. Always and everywhere. No matter what circumstance you find yourself in. Easter is Love’s Victory over evil and death; all fear is washed away. You – yes, you! – are a beloved child of God.
-Br. David Vryhof Society of Saint John the Evangelist
This is so true. Our roots must be anchored in God but what we have to remember our branches must be flexible or the wind will blow them down.We have to be able to adapt to changes and bend to survive. So we must have deep roots in God and still be able to bend with change. God will strengthen us with both.
There are so many wonderful posts from the brothers in this group. I hope this has as much meaning for you as it did for me.
It’s not that God can’t, or doesn’t, or won’t work during the brightness of the day, but we need God most in those moments of our life that are full of darkness and fear. If you have ever been or are even now afraid of the dark – afraid of the darkness of your own life, afraid of the darkness of the life of another, afraid of the darkness of the world – take courage for as terrifying as it can be, Holy Week promises us that God is at work even there, even then, even now.
In my years working for the Lutheran Church I was so uplifted by the music. Someone who knows how much music means to me reminded me of this hymn. It is giving me focus and hope. I hope it can do the same for you. There are some versions I prefer but this one has the words.
Life together is the best … except when it’s not. Life together will reveal our “control issues,” and expose us at our best and at our worst, and a lot of mediocre in between. Struggles are signs of invitation as we live out our lifelong conversion to Christ. Look on the people to whom you belong and remind yourself: “I need you.” And that will make all the difference.
– Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE
This was written back in January. It seems as if it was written for us right now. We are certainly finding out about ourselves in a way we never imagined. We see clearly those we need and even more clearly the Christ that is there for us. This is a time to draw nearer, seek him more often and listen for his voice. It will be there.
Last night before going to sleep I listened to this music which is also a prayer…for ourselves to find peace. It strengthens me when I am anxious and remind me that I don’t have to rely on my own strength. I hope that this hymn can give you hope.
I am posting a video with words and then my favorite which is in Spanish.
Today the scripture assigned for the day talk about Mary and Martha and the death of Lazarus. Be aware as you read this scripture that Mary and Martha expected Jesus to come when they sent for him. Jesus love them and their brother and surely Jesus would come right away. Instead they waited for 2 days. They waited as we are waiting now for something to change. They waited and Jesus came and their grief was removed by the raising of Lazarus. They waited and in the end all was well. We must do the same. In the end:
• All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. Julian of Norwich
John 11New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Death of Lazarus
11 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus,[a] “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6 after having heard that Lazarus[b] was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to weep. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”