Daily Bread Jan. 11

Come, Holy Spirit
By Andy Horner of Centennial, CO, USA

“Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.” —Matthew 12: 18–21 NRSV

At the beginning of Sunday school, our pastor invited us to spend some time in silence. As I focused on my breathing, I fell into the spiritual practice I’d been trying to follow for several months: breathe in, “On earth,” breathe out, “As heaven.” Breathe in, breathe out—“On earth, as heaven; on earth, as heaven.” It was not going well, though. A different phrase kept intruding: “Come, Holy Spirit.” I struggled to return to the phrases I’d committed to: “On earth, as heaven.” Why couldn’t I stick with that?

“Okay, have it your way!” I finally gave in. “Come, Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit.” Breathing in and breathing out, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Those words slowly took me to a different place, a place where I recognized that even those sanctified words of scripture, “On earth as heaven,” were not serving me well.

Or, perhaps more accurately, I was not serving them well. I had been overlaying my own agenda on top of them—my view of how earth will be transformed when those words come true. I knew how I wanted God’s Commonwealth on earth to look and I was trying to transmit those ideas to God in prayer. What I was not doing was listening for what God was trying to transmit to me.

Now, I’m not opposed to agendas. Everyone has an agenda. Even the person who says he doesn’t have an agenda has the agenda of wanting you to believe he doesn’t have one! The church has an agenda called the Mission Initiatives. There is nothing wrong with having an agenda.

But my time in silence with the Holy Spirit is a time that I need to let go of my agenda and simply receive the Spirit’s gifts.

Prayer Phrase

Come, Holy Spirit.

Invitation to Spiritual Practice

Opening to God

Close your eyes and become centered with your breath. Silence your mind as you gently breathe in and out. Reflect on the statement, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Receive the warmth and compassion of the Spirit. Let it fill your mind and your heart with the presence of God. Spend several minutes, returning to the statement when your mind wanders. Open your eyes to see the world afresh.

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