The older I grow the more I resemble both my mother and my father. When I look in the mirror I see many of my father’s features in my own face. He once said to me that the Williams family had strong characteristics. He was correct about that. Once, after I told stories at a church near where I grew up, an older man came up to me and said, “You’re Tid Williams’s grandson, aren’t you?” My grandfather died before I was born. I never met him. Still, this man recognized my grandfather in me.
My personality is more like my mother’s. I love people, and I love to talk. While my father was very reserved, almost a recluse, my mother was gregarious. She told me many times that the Cherrys (her family) “talked to hear their heads rattle.” Even many of my mannerisms are like hers.
Both my mother and my father are “in” me. When you look at me you see them because I embody so many of their characteristics. Looking at the human traits we inherit from our parents may help us understand what Jesus says to his followers. When Jesus says the Father is in him and he is in the Father, he is suggesting that when we look at Jesus we see God.
God comes to us as one of us in Jesus. If we want a snapshot of who the God of Jesus is, all we have to do is look at the person, life, and teachings of Jesus. Jesus embodies the God of love. Perhaps this is the reason that writers in the early church claimed that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine.
God, whom we see in Jesus, help us to embody your love. Amen.
In preparing for Pentecost, we focus again on the work of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2 recounts the famous story in which the disciples are miraculously able to speak in other languages in order to preach to the crowds in Jerusalem. The psalmist states that God creates and renews creation through the Spirit. According to Paul, if we are led by God’s Spirit, the Spirit confirms that we are children of God. In the Gospel of John, Jesus promises to send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who will teach us how to love him and to keep his commandments. In some branches of Christianity, fear of excess causes hesitation about the Holy Spirit; however, we must never forget that the Spirit is central to God’s redeeming work.
Read Acts 2:1-21. The miracle of Pentecost is not only in the multitude of languages but also in the act of listening. How can you experience worship in many languages or offer deep listening this Pentecost?
Read Psalm 104:24-34, 35b. How do you witness God’s experience woven through all of creation?
Read Romans 8:14-17. The author reminds us that spirit also means breath. When have you felt led by the breath of God?
Read John 14:8-17, 25-27. How has fear kept you from trusting God?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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