God, Jesus and Our New Life
God offers new life to all.
Jesus comes to us as a channel or conduit of this new life. He is the example of how God intends for us to live a life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells the disciples (that’s you and me!) that we will do greater works then even he has done. Jesus is also the model for surrender to the Holy Spirit. Imagine the love of God to come in human form and likeness to show us how to surrender to God’s deep and powerful love.
Jesus shows us how to yield to and be empowered by the Holy Spirit when he submits to the baptism of repentance offered by his relative, John the Baptizer. When Jesus goes down into the waters of the Jordan River, he emerges and is anointed by the Holy Spirit for his ministry with accompanying signs: the descent of the dove, the opening of the heavens, and the divine voice claiming Jesus as God - beloved child whom God loves very much.
This is the very thing—the very surrender and empowerment that we experience in baptism - and we need to activate all that’s been given to us in baptism: our mission and our spiritual gifts and the power to live as members of Christ’s body in the world, loving people into God’s reign of justice.
In two week’s time we will have an opportunity to renew our own baptism and to name and claim those gifts and pray for empowerment, a baptism in the Holy Spirit. John says to us, “One mightier than I is coming…I baptize you with water but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Come, Holy Spirit!
1. Have you ever had an extraordinary experience of the power or presence of the Holy Spirit? Remember, it may have happened outside of a religious setting. Don't forget the everyday moments...
2. Think about the following gifts...
wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues, generosity, hospitality, single-heartedness, administration, teaching
Which ones catch your interest? Which ones might you need for further spiritual growth? Are you comfortable with some and uneasy with others? Ask God this week in prayer to open you to whatever God has in store for you.