Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. As I moved through this past week, I found the presence of the Holy Spirit speaking to me. Sometimes it was just a slight nudge. Other times it was a bulldozer (which could be quite unsettling). When it was difficult to face the hurtfulness of others, I looked inward and outward, seeking an olive branch when my instinct was to wield a large timber. I looked to the Old Testament scriptures which offered the faithfulness of God, the New Testament which offered the living examples of the ministry of God’s son Jesus, and the ever-present gift of the Holy Spirit – promised by Jesus and gifted by God. Which of these three do you reach for when needing counsel, comfort, wisdom and hope?
I appreciate the scriptures of the Old Testament – especially learning the stories of those people who led imperfect lives but whom God still used to pass on his message of love and grace. And, of course, the books of Psalms and Proverbs which individually and collectively speak to my good days and my bad. What in the Old Testament speaks to you?
I use the scriptures of the New Testament to find the God I know best. It is Jesus’ words, actions and death that provide the greatest illustration of God’s immense love for us. Jesus poured out love and acceptance to the marginalized. We would find him today providing ministry to the homeless, the poor, and the incarcerated. How can I ignore any of these people when I know Jesus would be among them in his ministry?
I have learned from reading the stories of Jesus’ teaching, but I don’t get to walk with him to learn like the disciples did in his time. In my day-to-day life, I have the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus and gifted by God. I love to look back on my day and reflect on those times influenced by the Holy Spirit. Some were mere moments of feeling God’s care, at other times there were decisions and actions that altered my day’s journey. When have you seen the workings of the Holy Spirit in your life or the life of someone else?
The Holy Spirit led me to new and enriching experiences. Have you ever had a conversation with anyone in a homeless situation? For many years my husband and I shared dinners at a local men’s shelter. At first we just dropped off the dinner, thinking the men wouldn’t want us to eat with them. But the Holy Spirit intervened and we felt a strong push to bring the dinner and sit down to eat with the men. I didn’t anticipate what their perspective might be. Once one of the men at the shelter expressed his appreciation for the meal and companionship, and commented about most people would never dream of sitting at the dinner table with “the likes of us”. Another time, after a lively conversation, one man thanked us for validating that they had an opinion that mattered. The Holy Spirit offered us an amazing experience. When have you been led by the Holy Spirit to reach out as an individual, family, congregation or community?
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday and it is a wonderful time to acknowledge the Three-in-One. We find “God the Father” in the words of scripture, “God the Son” in the life of Jesus, and “God the Spirit” in the continuing companionship and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I pray you find all three as you seek the One – the God of love who is manifested in all these forms. Amen.
Author: Bonnie Barber
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.