April 28, 2016
There’s a lot in these words from John and they are all part of a much larger discourse of Jesus. It can be a challenge to unpack such things and find some take away, something to focus on and to remember for a while. Perhaps a phrase or an idea gets our attention and we think about its meaning and discover a new word for the day. Last night was our last evening of confirmation class for the season and I thought about all the words we shared over the past months. And I wondered what would stay with the class going forward.
I know that there have been words of faith shared with me throughout the years and some still find their way into my thoughts. Some were challenging, some were comforting and some were inspiring. They were words that came from mentors and teachers, friends and family – they always came from a place of care. On occasion I can find myself using an expression I heard from them. And the expression seems to be the perfect words needed at the time.
Some words linger and reemerge in timely fashion and we can count these words as words that are from the stream of a faithful witness throughout time. And maybe in our moments of humility and wisdom we recognize that the words we keep and the words we share flow from that same stream that carries the renewing gift of the gospel.
Jesus reminded his disciples that they would find a good help from the Spirit with the words that matter. The teaching and understanding was not to be completely left to them. There is a learning that happens with the Spirit that gives shape to relationships and community. It is meant to be a joyful kind of thing that brings the needed energy to carry love into action.
On this weekend of Confirmation when promises of baptism are affirmed and celebrations of faith happen, we can be mindful of the Spirit that still moves among us and within us. We all can find a good encouragement to bring the words that will build up the faith, foster care and make for joy.
In Christ called to witness, by grace we will preach
the life giving gospel; God’s love we will teach.
By grace may our living give proof to our praise
in costly compassion reflecting Christ’s ways. – ELW 575