Week 3 • Ruth Lemmen
John 16:13 (or 12-15)
What do you think of when you think about the Holy Spirit?
Throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit is called Comforter, Counselor, Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of wisdom, and in this chapter Advocate and Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit is an active member of the Trinity. Throughout the book of Acts, we see many stories of how the Holy Spirit worked powerfully through Jesus’ followers. In John 16, Jesus tells us that when he physically leaves earth, the Spirit will come and speak for Jesus. Instead of the limitations of Jesus’ human body who could only be in one place at one time, the Holy Spirit can be present with the church of all times and all places. And through the Spirit of Christ, Jesus is with us, his church around the world.
As I reflected on what we learn about the Spirit’s presence and power from this passage, it struck me that the Spirit of truth “will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears”. The powerful Spirit doesn’t go rogue, doing and saying whatever he alone thinks is best. The Spirit is a member of the Trinity, a member of a community dancing together as one. Listening to each other and speaking as one.
And then I wondered about us. If the Spirit is listening to the Father and Jesus and not speaking on his own, what about me? What about us? Are we stopping to listen to the Spirit? Are we stopping to notice how Jesus is present with us through the Spirit? Are we waiting to listen before we speak?
It is easy, automatic even, to fill our lives with activities and responsibilities and entertainment. An overflowing to-do list, family commitments, helping others, a desire to catch up on activities we’ve missed in the past two years, the 24-hour news cycle, doom scrolling, interesting podcasts, and more easily overwhelm our days. There’s no time and space left to listen to the Holy Spirit. And while the Spirit can speak in dramatic ways that are hard to miss, usually the Spirit shows up as a still, small voice. So how can we be intentional about stopping, quieting our brains and hearts, and listening for the Spirit to speak and guide us?
Spirit of truth who makes Jesus present to us, help us listen to you as you listen to the Father and Son. Help us to sense your presence in our daily lives and make decisions according to your guidance.
Try to be intentional about taking time to be quiet with God and listen to the Spirit. This could be sitting in a quiet place or taking a slow walk without earbuds in or doodling or painting slowly. It could also be using an app or podcast like Pray As You Go (https://pray-as-you-go.org) or Lectio 365 (https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/).
Pray for …
- COS members to listen carefully to the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, and to each other; may we listen for genuine understanding from those with whom we disagree
- Delegates to the CRC Synod to be indifferent to any outcome expect God’s will
- Sisters and brothers at CrossWay Community Church (a Camelot Community Partner)