From Following the Spirit
[Excerpted from Following the Spirit: Calling, Hope, and Possibility, Linda L. Booth, Herald House, 2019, p. 8]
For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. -Romans 14:17-19
We gather to be spiritually formed so that we will “embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ” (Doctrine and Covenants 164:9d) and be Christ’s presence in our families, congregations, neighborhoods, and communities.
During President Veazey’s April 8, 2018, “Hope Rising” challenge, he said that spiritual formation “means intentional, regular spiritual practices that bond us to the Divine and shape us in the image of Christ. It is integrating our inner spiritual lives and outward actions to live in harmony with God’s vision for creation…As we are spiritually formed in that kind of gospel community, we are motivated and equipped to bless our neighbors and neighborhoods through an overflow of compassionate ministry and action.”
To be a “gospel community” takes time and intentionality. We must yearn for and long to be aware of God’s presence through the power of the Holy Spirit and the sacred connection that unites and connects us as disciples.
In her book, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, Barbara Brown Taylor wrote:
No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude, or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are (Harper Collins, 2009, pp. xiv-xv).
We gather with a willingness to nurture the expectation that God is present here and in our daily lives.
- Where have you recently experienced God in your life?
- When have you saw, felt, or experienced the red X that marked the spot you were standing on?
- What does authentic Christian community or “gospel community” look like?
Let your world of beauty capture me.
Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart
Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring of love. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.