Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (New Revised Standard Version)
The season of Advent just began. Yet, Christmas trees, decorations, and sales for gifts began before Halloween and sales were in full swing well before Thanksgiving. Last year at this time, we were hoping we would remain healthy and get to see our families during the holidays. And we gave thanks for Zoom calls, games, on-line shopping, and a quiet Christmas. This year, I have read more than once that Christmas might be ruined by delays in the supply chain. This assumption misses the clear point for faithful followers of Jesus. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, born of Mary, a baby who changed the way God understands and encounters us and the way we encounter God. It is a time for us to sit in the presence of God, and wait, listen, and pray to see what God has in store for us. This is the time to fully trust God.
We live in a broken world; so much pain is within and around us; the problems seem too great for us to solve. Yet, when we sit and take time daily with our God, crying out our deepest hopes and dreams, the Holy Spirit intercedes and knows our greatest desires, and points us in the direction of Jesus. So, we can clearly see one step forward. And know we are surrounded by a community who loves us and wants to join with us together to bring Christ’s light, love, hope, and justice into this world.
Prayer: Dear Interceding Spirit, fall down upon us as we sit with you in prayer. Plant seeds of clarity for how we can use our gifts in service to you, while we wait and hope for your love and justice to reign on earth. Amen.
Joy – Cohort 3: Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
Bethel Lutheran Church, Gary, IN