Pastor’s Email Devotion
The Week of Epiphany 1
January 10, 2016
When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ (John 20:22, NRSV)
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.
~~Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”
… and what is that something? Is it human nature? Do we, at our deepest core understand our connection to the entirety of the human family? Does that yearning compel us when we are able to resist the sin that drive us to hatred and animosity? A kind of natural law that beats within our heart, even when we are unaware of its rhythms?
… is it a sense of responsibility that governs our every action? Do we, at our deepest core understand that there is an order and logic to life itself? Despite our missteps and misjudgments, is there a seminal yearning to respect life and to manage this life we are given in ways that embodies that greater respect?
… or is it the Spirit of the Living God coursing through our lungs … through our veins … through our very souls? In the quietness of prayer and the stillness of meditation, do we feel the feathery caress of this Spirit, and hear the subtle whisper of God’s call? Is it in fact God within us, who doesn’t love a wall, and wants to see it torn down?
Admittedly, I can be a Pollyanna who is regularly tempted to hide my head in the sand of hope, gazing upon the world with a blind faith that hollowly prays that life will turn itself around. But I am also a deep and firm believer that God’s Spirit resides at the heart of everything we are, and every strength and power which enlivens the natural world. On my best days, I trust that just such a Spirit will guide us through difficult and dark times, and fan those embers of life and respect for life, which keep vibrant the image of God that colors and shapes each individual spirit of each unique child of God. Pray this week that this very Spirit of God may always and potently, find its way through the pores of our souls, and the permeable membranes that guard our spirits. Pray that God is that “something” which always inspires us to tear down the walls in our lives and the barriers between us and our sisters and brothers in life.
I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
~~ Covenant Prayer, John Wesley