December 21, 2021
The Spirit guides us in our faith
An excerpt from Romans 8:26-27 (NRSV)
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.
Reflection from Marjie Koons:
One challenging question I was just asked during a 2 ½ hour interview with a Corporate Human Resource person was to describe a situation when I could not complete what was asked, how I handled it, and how it turned out.
My thoughts traveled back to the death of dear sweet shut-in that I had visited and grew to love over many years. Her death was devastating because she showed me the love of a mother. That Sunday, when I was in the sacristy after church, my priest spoke of a parishioner in a nursing home, whose family had pretty much given up on him. I thought about it, quickly explaining I was grieving and felt I didn’t have anything to offer anyone at that time. My priest was more insistent than I. I caved in, agreeing I would go see him. Her parting comment was, “You should know he doesn’t speak.” Getting into my car, overwhelmed with grief, angry at myself for giving in and worse...trying to figure out how in the world would I ever relate to a nonverbal person. “Come on Lord, really!!”
My life changed from the first time I stepped into his room. We shared many communions; we shared many tears and he began to speak using enough words for me to understand. After about a year of visits, two days before his death, my visit found him laying in bed sobbing, “I should have, I could have.” Taking a deep breath, breathing in God’s Spirit and asking for His words to say, I sat on the floor rubbing Frank’s shoulder and began reflecting on his life and all that he accomplished. I talked of all the lives he changed heading up the MSU library, all those students that now have children who love books...just because you took the time to answer all the questions from those college kids who thought they knew everything. By reflecting on his life, being a vestry member and heading a building campaign, I slowly saw his face brighten and he began to see the value of his life and his accomplishments.
This beautiful man, this child of God, influenced my life immensely. He is one of the major reasons of my ministry today, and my trying to make each human feel valued and supported. Just think, it all started when I tried to say, “I can’t”……to my priest and ultimately to the Holy Spirit!!
For further study and prayer, the readings assigned for today are:
Psalm 113; Genesis 30:1-24; Romans 8:18-30
sung by the StGs quartet
“Even with darkness sealing us in,
we breathe your name.”
Tags: Advent & Christmas 2021