You know him, because he abides with you and he will be in you. John 14:17
The promise of the Holy Spirt in John’s Gospel follows on from the passage of Jesus declaring to be the Way to the Father. It is a passage that is usually read at funerals, however, the following two verses, John 14:16-17, seals the promise of the Spirit in our lives.
The writer of John’s gospel states that we will know because he abides and will be in us. We need to take heart, that at those times when we feel most alone or darkness surrounds us, God’s Spirt is abiding in us and it is God’s Spirit that will strengthen us,f or the brighter days ahead.
Like the bird that hovers over the water, as the wind that brushes our cheek, God’s Spirit tenderly touches us and through us, we know that God knows us, and we are known to God.
Breathe through our lives and renew us, remake us and mould us to become your promise and potential Amen
Keep these words, that I am communicating with you today in your heart Deuteronomy 6:6
The words that Moses is wanting us to keep in our hearts, is found in the previous verse’ you shall love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might’.
This is part of the Shema Prayer. It is the centrepiece of the morning and evening prayer services in Jewish liturgy, encapsulating the monotheistic insistence in Judaism.
Joseph and Mary would have regularly recited this prayer, as a declaration of their faith. Let us as followers of Jesus, keep these words deep in our hearts and minds, as an expression of our faith of the One God, who came to dwell with us, God Immanuel.
You know all things.
Strengthen me to keep to these words of the Jewish Shema prayer deep within my me.
May they gently dwell till I am in full knowledge of my oneness with you. Amen
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you before you were born. I consecrated you Jeremiah 1:5
I have a friend who tragically had seven miscarriages over an eight-year period. Most were through IVF and even though the babies never breathed the air that their parents breathed, each were named, held and loved.
Some of us may know parents who have lost babies and children and this verse from Jeremiah is such a comfort to know that their infants whatever age they died, have already been blessed by God.
As we approach the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem, let us remember mothers and fathers who arms remain empty and have no child to hold, and have witnessed or seen their child die, or who have never reached their potential
Lay your healing hand upon all people who children are now in your love and care. Give them the promise of new life in you Amen
‘Pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in labour ‘. Isaiah 21:3
When someone says ‘I promise…’ I am occasionally filled with joy, but more often a little voice in my mind says ‘we’ll see if it happens’! Life can be full of uncertainties, of unforeseen circumstances, doubling up of arrangements, but when God makes a promise, we should not be filled with dread, but with hope.
Isaiah recognizes that the pain we feel when broken promises surround us, but says that we should remain strong, for God is faithful and God’s promises are never empty
God of promises
Let me soak in the scent of your promise this week.
May it linger and encourage me to hope once more. Amen
Advent is an exciting time, yet it is a time where we are full of buying presents, watching nativities, singing carols and sending greeting cards.
Sometimes we miss the blessing that Advent brings us, a period where our Spirits yearn to linger, and sense the expected fragrance that the Babe of Bethlehem will bring.
During Advent, I have produced a short booklet of daily reflections for the two congregations where I am their minister, and I am also posting them on line. These daily short reflections will hopefully assist you in stopping and wait for the scent of Love that will fill our hearts and minds this Advent and Christmas.
Each week will have a theme and all relate to the scent of love we shall be expecting at Christmas
Week 1, (27th November – 3rd December), explores the scent of Promise, the Promise that God brings to us of love and hope fulfilled in the forthcoming birth of Jesus.
Week 2, (4th December – 10th December) explores the scent of Expectation, especially in times of darkness and hopelessness.
Week 3 (11th December -17th December ) explores the scent of Waiting, especially when the waiting time is difficult or challenging
Week 4 (18th December – 25th December) explores the scent of Arrival , the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the anticipation and gifts we may wish to bring to the Christ child.
Enjoy the journey