Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
9 But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.[a]
14 Those who are unspiritual[b] do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.
16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Today’s passage of scripture is about the Holy Spirit—“the divine presence in our lives whereby we are kept in perpetual remembrance of the truth of Christ and find strength and help in time of need.” (from “A Modern Affirmation” in The United Methodist Hymnal) It’s good to remind ourselves early in 2021 of who the Holy Spirit is:
The Holy Spirit is present with us as our ADVOCATE, FRIEND and ENCOURAGER.
The Holy Spirit is present with us as our COMFORTER.
The Holy Spirit is present with us as our COUNSELOR or TEACHER.
The Holy Spirit is present with us as our HELPER or STRENGTHENER.
The Holy Spirit is present with us to ENERGIZE and CHALLENGE us to answer the call of Christ to faithfully follow him in loving and serving others.
One of the symbols of the Holy Spirit is wind. In fact, the word for wind, breath and Spirit are all the same word in Greek and Hebrew.
Near the end of the gospel of John, there is a remarkable call to discipleship. The risen Christ is present with the gathered community of faith, gathered afraid behind locked doors. Jesus came and stood among them, John says, and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them (remember breath, wind and spirit are all translations of the same word—both in Greek and in Hebrew) and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” When that earliest community of faith experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, they experienced it along with a call: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” The call is to live and to minister as Jesus did.
Ernest Campbell describes the experience all visitors to the Metrodome stadium in Minneapolis encounter. I’ve never been there, but he says, “When one leaves the Metrodome, there is a mighty push of wind that propels one to the outside world in a hurry. A physicist would be needed to explain this phenomenon. Something about the controlled pressure of the dome clashing with the prevailing pressure outside. But the outrush is strong and unmistakable. It has thrust. It propels. Exiting this sports arena is an event in itself.”
That’s a great image for us, isn’t it? The wind of God, the breath of God, the Holy Spirit propels us and pushes us out into the world
to live because Christ lives
to love because Christ loves
to forgive because Christ forgives
to serve because Christ serves
to be a friend because Christ is our friend
to comfort because Christ is our comforter
to help because Christ is our helper.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster