Sunday, March 12 | Rev. Darren Hensley | John 3:1-17 (esp. vv. 7-8, 17)
The Life of the Spirit
Everyone encounters difficult times—the loss of a job, a dream, or a loved one. Times when a door has closed, a disappointment occurs, or a prayer seems unanswered. Times of unexpected or unwelcome news. We may ask: Why me? Where do I go from here? What should I do now? How do I make sense of an ever-changing world? Where can guidance be found?
The Lectionary Readings this week claim aid, direction, comfort, and reassurance in God’s surprising, free-blowing Holy Spirit—God’s presence among us. As we journey with Abraham, Nicodemus, and the Psalmist, the breath of our prayers can become channels for grace. Open to the blowing of the Spirit, we become freed to see that God loves the whole world—every little corner of it, including each of us—with such extravagance, and has promised that no matter what we may face, we are never alone.
Taking a moment to breathe creates the space for perspective and an opportunity to regain equilibrium. It offers time to move beyond anxiety and hyperventilation to make room for the Holy Spirit to do its work. It allows us to stop and ask these questions as we decide what to do next: What do I know and what do I need to know more about? What does my heart tell me? To whom can I turn for support or trusted advice? And, most importantly: How is God leading me in and through this situation?
Prayer: Gracious and Loving God, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the comfort, encouragement, and inspiration of Your Holy Presence in our lives. Faced with important decisions, help us to breathe out the constricting, anxious absorption with ourselves and our problems, and breathe in the peace of Christ. So decentered, may we then become centered in You—the ultimate source of our confidence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.