Welcome to the Weekly Devotion. We’ve put away the Christmas decorations, and without the greenery, red bows and colorful lights, we may think the celebration is over. But it is not. It has only begun. Now we begin the year celebrating all that happened because God sent an amazing gift - his son, Jesus.
Looking at Acts 19:1-7 we have Paul’s accounting of his time in Ephesus when he met with people who had been baptized just as John the Baptist had instructed to be done, but when asked about their encounter with the Holy Spirit, they asked, “What is the Holy Spirit? We’ve never herd of it.” They did not know the “rest of the story”. Paul then baptized them in the name of Jesus and then laid his hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift, a powerful gift, and one that is always available, so the celebration is not only not over, it is eternal. What do you remember about your baptism of water and the Holy Spirit? How old were you and what did it mean to you? When have you encountered the Holy Spirit and how did it make you feel? Don’t you just yearn for more time with the Divine? What happens – where does it go?
I love the story of the young man who complained that whenever he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he was like a bucket with holes. The Spirit merely drained out of him. His friend said, "That may be true, but even a bucket full of holes can be filled with water if it is immersed in the river and left there."
Sadly, we are all buckets with holes. How do we immerse ourselves in the “river” of the Holy Spirit? Even if total and continual immersion may not happen, we can seek those special moments that help us feel closer to God and the Holy Spirit. For example, when I start the day with a simple song from my church campfire repertoire, such as “In my life, Lord, Be Glorified”, the song comes back to me off and on through the day. It’s a spirit-seeking earworm. I also have an alarm set on my phone to direct my attention to God at 8 am every day. I may open a journal entry on my computer and type a prayer or prayer thoughts. Or I may only succeed in directing my attention for that moment. There are so many spiritual practices that help move us into a deeper relationship with God. What kinds of spiritual practices are special to you? If there is not a way to share in comments to this devotion, share your thoughts by emailing the DC Community of Christ through our email firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you and share your experiences with others. Your testimonies help others grow in faith.
Galatians 3:14 says that we “receive the promised Spirit through faith.” And in Romans 10:17, we are told, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” I pray that each of us find ways to connect our hearts to God’s heart, and may our buckets be full.
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.