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Jesus still has much to say in this last conversation before his arrest and execution, but the disciples cannot bear what he needs to tell them. The rest will have to come later. Why? Probable reasons range from their preoccupation with grief over the prospect of losing Jesus, to spiritual...

God, we give thanks for your Spirit, who will lead us through the living of these days and remind us of Jesus’ ways. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
May 14–20, 2018
Scripture Overview

This week’s readings remind us of the powerful role of God’s Spirit. For many Christians, the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity we understand the least. In the book of Acts, the Spirit empowers the apostles on Pentecost to speak in other languages and, in so doing, initiates the establishment and missional reach of the church to the wider world. The psalmist uses a wordplay on ruach, the Hebrew word for breath or spirit, to teach us that God’s Spirit was present at Creation and is necessary for the ongoing survival of all life. Paul writes that God’s Spirit confirms that we are children of God and can approach God with confidence, not fear. Even the disciples feel uncertain about what will happen when Jesus leaves, so John provides Jesus’ assurance that God will remain with them and with us through the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Acts 2:1-21. How often do you take solace in praying in private without moving to take action in the public square? Which site is the more comfortable for you?
• Read Psalm 104:24-34, 35b. Where have you seen evidence of nature’s resources being spent? How can you help?
• Read Romans 8:22-27. How consequential is it to you to acknowledge that God prays for us and the world? Why?
• Read John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15. What instructions do you wish Jesus had left for you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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From the Center

Soul Care for Spiritual Leaders

The Upper Room, like the church, yearns to meet people where they are. Some of us hope there is grounding beneath all these shifting sands of our world and culture. Some of us wonder if there is a safe place to be vulnerable. Some of us want to develop the empathy that supports our call to action and justice. 

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