Christmas Weekday

 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. 

 

It’s obvious that Jesus said these words about himself.   But can you believe that the very same thing could be said about you?   Everyone who has been baptized into Christ has received his Holy Spirit.   Whether you feel like it or not—indeed, whether your experience tells you so or not—the Holy Spirit is upon you!

So what do you do with this piece of information?   After you get over being amazed at it, should you sit back and bask in your great good fortune?   Hardly.

Jesus came to inaugurate the kingdom of God, a place where every tear is wiped away and every bond is loosed.   The afflicted hear the good news of God’s love, and people who once were blind can finally see evidence of his presence.   Those enslaved to sin are set free, and those hungering for peace will be filled.

It all sounds so good, doesn’t it?   But as we know, it doesn’t happen by magic.   The kingdom of God only grows as we—bearers of his Spirit—love one another as he loved us, when we do for others what he has done for us.

You may think that you are woefully inadequate to the task, but that’s not what God thinks.   He gave you his Spirit for just this reason.   As you learn to sense the Spirit and follow his lead, you’ll begin to overcome the limitations that seem to loom large in your heart.   Over time, you’ll grow in confidence, and God will use you for greater and greater things.

This idea of “sensing” the Spirit can sound out of reach, but it’s really quite simple.   He is that still, small voice in the back of your mind urging you to forgive your coworker for what she said about you.   He’s the tap on your shoulder pointing out a neighbor who seems lonely.   He’s the quick catch in your throat that arises when you are about to say something inappropriate or hurtful.   Every time you follow one of these gentle prods, you are laying another foundation stone for the kingdom.   Not only that, but every time you do this, you are building a stronger foundation for your own life—a foundation of peace and confidence in the Spirit who lives in you.

“Jesus, help me to sense your Spirit today—and to follow his lead.”

1 John 4:19–5:4
Psalm 72:1-2, 14-15, 17

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