Scripture Reading: Acts 19:1-7
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them.
Most of us today have at least heard of the Holy Spirit, but I think the Spirit remains a mystery as a part of our life of faith. I worked with a woman who attributed something being a God-Thing to explain a right result for which there was no explanation. I picked up that language. I welcome the glimpses of the Spirit at work particularly when we have done our very best, and it just was not enough, but good came from it anyway.
We are called to do our very best as part of the Body of Christ in partnership with our advocate and counselor, the Holy Spirit. I am very thankful for the counseling; I need all the help I can get. Having a full-time advocate is a special blessing. We can all get down on ourselves at times. Advocates by definition speak in support of another. We envision our Advocate speaking to God on our behalf when we fall short of the glory of God. Advocates might also plant seeds of support in the hearts of our perceived enemies opening the door for reconciliation.
I recently watched the documentary The Sultan and the Saint on PBS that explores how Saint Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt risked it all to end the Crusades. I am sure much holy counseling and advocacy took place in that amazing encounter within the hearts and minds of both these uncommon people.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for your constant presence with all your children. Make us each whole and make us all one. Amen.