Thur. March 14

Thursday March 14, 2019

Today’s Focus        More about the Spirit, the One making us holy

Scripture Reading for the Day                John 16: 1-15

“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. This is because they have never known the Father or me. Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate[a] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

Daily Reflection                     Luther’s Explanation on the
Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed: On Being Made Holy

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

What does this mean?

I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to Him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith, just as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one common, true faith.  Daily in this Christian church the Holy Spirit abundantly forgives all sins- mine and those of all believers.  On the last day the Holy Spirit will raise me and all the dead and will give to me and all believers in Christ eternal life.  This is most certainly true.

Some Questions for Reflection

  • John calls the Spirit “the Advocate”. What words might you use to describe the Spirit?
  • For you, what is “the truth?”

Today’s Pilgrimage Challenge

  • Yesterday, you were in worship. Share with the group a time within this worship celebration in which you “felt” the Spirit at work.
  • Share a time in your own life when you may have felt the Spirit “calling, gathering, or enlightening” you or someone you love and share with the group.

 Today’s Prayer

Gracious and holy God, give us diligence to seek You, wisdom to perceive You , and patience to wait for You.  Grant us, O God, a mind to meditate on You; eyes to behold You; ears to listen for Your word; a heart to love You; and a life to proclaim You; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen

9 thoughts on “Thur. March 14

  1. Keith Ricks

    Describe the Spirit? I like the Phrase John used, “Spirit of truth”.
    I was not fond of “Assistant” or “Helper” though. My Own Make-up is simply “The God in Me”

    For you, what is “the truth?” Love and Perfection.

    1. Lisa

      The spirit to me is the aura around me. It gently whispers. It is not bold. It is calm and quiet. It is reassuring.
      It is almost like a shield around me…comforting me…protecting me…loving me.

      1. Pastor Jerry

        Really enjoy “gently whispers.” I do believe that God often works in the quiet moments of our heart and day. Really appreciate your “shield around me” I was reading a psalm today in which that is how God was being described by the psalmist. Great work!
        Peace, blessings, and love,

    2. Pastor Jerry

      We’ll place your “I’m not fond of “Assistant” or “helper” in God’s comment box. 🙂 But truly, I think however you choose to express the Spirit in terms of affirming, calling, gathering, enlightening, uplifting, is fine for personal use, perhaps the issue becomes the language barriers that you and I have often spoken of. For myself TRUTH is very simple: There is a God! and I and the rest of this crazy human race are God’s beloved children. God loves us sooooo much that God has redeemed us from ourselves! Peace my brother!

  2. Catherine Ziel

    Since I didn’t grow up in the Lutheran Church, I didn’t encounter the Small Catechism until just before I started seminary. This section was the one that grabbed me most when I first read it. It just came as such good news to me that I didn’t have to figure God out all on my own—Jesus would take care of it! And over and over again I’ve been aware if how God brings just the right people into my life when I need them—calling and gathering us to care for one another, share God’s love with one another, and be the Church together.

  3. Pastor Jerry

    Hello everyone! Just had to share a slight epiphany…. did you notice that in this translation of John’s gospel Jesus says “the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.” Wow! How many times do “liberal” church members need to endure being told that we are going to hell because of God’s law? How often to opponents of equal status in diversity share that they do this to uphold God’s decrees? Powerful stuff here…. the Spirit of truth is speaking!
    Last evening’s worship was one of the most powerful worship’s that I have ever been blessed to be part of! Seeing the number of people from all over Bethlehem congregations coming together, unified in God’s word, unified in thought, created many “divine moments” within the worship.
    I am constantly amazed, perplexed, and in sheer delight of how the Spirit is working in and among us this season!
    Peace, blessings, and love

  4. Mel Olenwine

    I’m sorry I missed last evening’s worship. The holy spirit to me is that voice that talks to me most of the day. It’s either telling me to NOT do something, or NOT to say something, or it is telling me TO do something or TO say something. Sometimes I listen to that voice, sometimes I don’t. Because of fear? Maybe. Cowardice? Probably. I struggle with social anxiety…sometimes I wish I could talk, think, or behave like a lot of other people do. Without the sarcasm and humor that most people misinterpret anyway. But we are each unique individuals and we are children of God. Pastor said something at bible study tonight….”we all want people to like us.” And we truly do. Shouldn’t we be more concerned that God likes us? So why is it so hard to behave like the children of God that we are? Why does our “humanness”, our sinful nature, get in the way? What can we do about it? Wouldn’t the world like us if we were good all the time? I could be up all night thinking about this and a million other questions. ahhhhh Lent.

  5. Pastor Jerry

    Great thoughts Mel!
    I truly believe that is why we have community and since the Holy Spirit “calls, gathers and enlightens” the community, when things are going well, we can find a sense of accountability, encouragement, and support when dealing with the type of worldly issues that you describe.
    Peace, blessings, and love,


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