Over the years I’ve heard so many people say that they wish God would just reveal God’s self to them in a dramatic way. Many folks long for their own burning bush experience. Most of these times, people are struggling with doubt and are longing to experience God with their five senses, in the same way they experience most of life. Though I usually bite my tongue, what I want to say is, “BE CAREFUL!!!” We tend to forget what happens to people who have dramatic, overwhelming experiences of God. Their lives get turned upside down, shaken out, and reoriented. It happened to Isaiah, who had an overwhelming experience of God. The next thing he knows, he is saying, “Yes” to God’s call. Moses with the burning bush, Gideon with his fleece, Mary encountering the angel Gabriel—they all had their lives disrupted by an encounter with God.

I too had a mystical experience of God, though nothing as dramatic as Isaiah. Instead, I heard the still, small voice of God which Elijah speaks of in 1 Kings 19:12. God called me to be a minister. In that moment, my life turned upside down and went a very different direction than I had planned. So be aware of the possible ramifications that could result from longing for an overwhelming experience of the presence of God. God may ask you to do things you have not previously imagined. Sometimes God works in our lives in simple, undramatic ways—a gnawing hunger to do something more, people who see in us more than we see in ourselves, the persistent return of an idea to help someone. Whether God’s call comes in dramatic or subtle fashion, saying yes to God may take us to surprising places, sometimes risky places, sometimes significant places.

God of dramatic visions and gentle nudges, grant us willing hands and steadfast hearts to say, "Here I am; send me" when you call. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 3:1-17

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Lectionary Week
May 24–30, 2021
Scripture Overview

This Sunday we will celebrate the Trinity, the Christian belief that God is one being and exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christian theologians point out that there are many references to this doctrine in the Bible. In Isaiah, the voice of the Lord asks, “Who will go for us?” not, “Who will go for me?” In Romans, Paul speaks of all three persons of the Trinity: We pray to the Father through the Spirit because of the work of the Son. Jesus also speaks to Nicodemus about the role of all three persons of the Trinity. This may not be the simplest of Christian doctrines, but it is foundational because it explains the nature of God and God’s work throughout human history.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 6:1-8. Can you recall a time when you said to God, “Here I am; send me”? What prompted you? What helped you feel empowered to serve?
Read Psalm 29. As you read about the power of the Lord’s voice, do you find yourself frightened or drawn in? How approachable is God to you?
Read Romans 8:12-17. When has fear controlled you? How does being led by God’s Spirit free you from fear?
Read John 3:1-17. How has your life been reshaped by the Spirit? How did sins and failings manifest in the new creation?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”


Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.