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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | John 16:12–15          

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (NRSV)

Jesus promised us the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. Spiritual guidance involves listening for God’s voice and obeying God’s word. In the scriptures, people are led by God’s Spirit through visions, dreams, encounters with other persons, signs, messages from angels, and teachings of God’s Word. Praying and studying scripture, whether alone or together, can lead to transforming insights and direction.

We also experience God’s leading through regular reflection on where we find energy or are drained; where we feel connected or alienated; what is pulling on our hearts. When Presbyterians gather in groups, we seek to discern God’s leading by listening with open hearts and minds to one another and sensing where there is a convergence of direction. May you be as confident in God’s leading as Thomas Merton was while praying the following:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.”

(Prayer by Thomas Merton)

Reflection Written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission

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