When I was a boy I was afraid of the dark. We lived in a trailer, behind which we had built a small cinder block house with a washing machine, tools, and storage. Occasionally, my mother asked me to go out to “the little house” to get something for her after dark. I always hesitated.

As I walked the thirty yards between the trailer and the house, I would imagine fearsome creatures and people hiding along the way and hands (or claws) coming out of the darkness to grab me. So, I would always ask my mom to watch me as I walked through the darkness. Just the fact that she was willing to look out the tiny kitchen window above the sink in the trailer brought me courage. I knew that if I turned to look behind me, I would see her face illuminated by the kitchen light, smiling, waving, urging me on. She never turned away from that window. Knowing that my mother was watching over me gave me the courage to walk to the little house and retrieve whatever she had asked me to bring her.

The courage it took to do what my mother asked came from knowing that she was present with me and watching over me, just like God does for all of us. God does not want us to be enslaved to a spirit of fear, a spirit that keeps us from doing what we are asked to do by God. Like my mother, God is watching over us to comfort us and give us courage as we make the journey through the darkness, through our fear, to do what God asks us to do.

Ever-present God, help me know that you are watching over me so that I will not be enslaved by my fear. Amen.

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Lectionary Week
June 3–9, 2019
Scripture Overview

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.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

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.

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