Those early apostles in the upper room hunkered down in fear, trying to figure their way out of their predicament. They drew straws (so to speak), probably had some meetings, and advocated for their particular strategies. . . . Then, in blew the Holy Spirit, God’s life-giving breath, unhindered by the closed shutters and with a love so fierce that it opened their hearts to tenderness and compassion. It was so transformative that fear did not have power over them anymore.
This is the transformation that is called for today, a stepping into the unknown, trusting in a divine tenderness that can hold us, even in our fear. God calls us to journey from our heads into our hearts, listening for that deeper wisdom that can guide us through all the valleys of death.
—Paul Nixon and Craig Gilbert, Launching a New Worship Community: A Practical Guide for the 2020s (Discipleship Resources, 2021)
What can help you to listen more closely to the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Join the conversation.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
—John 14:26 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Dear God, help us to welcome new people into our faith communities. Guide us to people who are seeking you, and help us convey your love and acceptance as we develop authentic relationships with them. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
This Advent, join author Marsha Crockett in an exploration of the HOPE, LOVE, PEACE, and JOY that the coming of Jesus offers. Through The Coming Messiah: Guided Meditations for Advent, you’ll be invited into guided times of prayer and quiet reflection—all accessible via mobile device. Learn more about this eCourse and register here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.