The Gift #9 : Joy

Irene's geranium in bloom
Irene’s geranium in bloom (photo: Irene Bom)

 

1 Thessalonians 1:6-7 (NIV)
Paul writes, ‘You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.’

 

Reflection

Spirit,
thank you for those
who model to me
how to live
as a joy-receiver,
and to-joy-transformer,
even in the midst of
severe suffering.

May I have the faith and courage
to do the same.
Amen.

by Irene Bom


Joy-related Scriptures

Philippians 4:4
Romans 12:12
Romans 15:13
1 Thessalonians 3:9
Hebrews 12:1-3
James 1:2

All related Scriptures (in one go)


Interesting …

Joy is a hot topic in Luke (NIV: 12 references)
Faith is a hot topic in Romans (NIV: 40 references)
Love is a hot topic in John (NIV: 39 references)
Hope is a hot topic in Acts (NIV: 9 references)

Research tool: www.biblegateway.com
 

The Gift #8 : Adoption

Irene's geranium in bud
Irene’s geranium in bud (photo: Irene Bom)
 

Rom 8:15 (NIV)
Paul writes, ‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”’

Reflection

Slaves have reason
to fear the unreasonable,
the shocking,
the arduous,
the harsh,
the unyielding,
the uncalled-for,
the arbitrary,
the excessive,
the unbridled,
the severe.

I am not a slave.
I am a child of Abba, Father.
Jesus’ Abba,
Jesus’ Father.
Spirit, inspire in me
the appropriate response:
Cries of joy!

by Irene Bom


Related Scriptures
John 1:12-13


Tip (repeat from yesterday)

The Pray as you go website has a short 5-part retreat on the Acts of the Apostles. Listen to the story of the early Christian community, and discover what effect the Resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost had on that first, very small group of Jesus’ followers. By reflecting on this, we can discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our own lives, and open ourselves more fully to the spirit of Pentecost.

The Gift #7 : Traces

Road sign Scotland
Scotland (photo: Irene Bom)

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
Jesus said: ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’

 

Reflection

Like ripples,
like soundwaves,
like seeds carried aloft by the wind,
may we leave traces
of the Spirit-transformed,
Spirit-transforming
life within us,
traces that echo on
and bear fruit.
Amen.

by Irene Bom


Related Scriptures
2 Corinthians 2:14-16


A true story
Talking about “seeds carried aloft by the wind”, I was sitting on a terrace in Amsterdam recently, next to the tram track. The wind and passing trams regularly sent the heaps of elm tree seeds a-swirling around me. That evening I found one of the seeds had found its way to my home in Rotterdam. It was lodged under my bra!


Tip
The Pray as you go website has a short 5-part retreat on the Acts of the Apostles. Listen to the story of the early Christian community, and discover what effect the Resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost had on that first, very small group of Jesus’ followers. By reflecting on this, we can discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our own lives, and open ourselves more fully to the spirit of Pentecost.

The Gift #6 : Guidance

'Keerom' (turn around), Cape Town, South Africa
‘Keerom’ (turn around), Cape Town, South Africa (photo: Irene Bom)
 

John 16:13 (NIV)
Jesus said: ‘When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.’

 

Reflection

Thank you, God,
for the truth,
all the truth,
imparted,
from Father
to Son
to Spirit
to us.

May I receive the truth you impart
with open arms, open heart,
and handle it
in ways that bring you pleasure.
Amen.

by Irene Bom


Related Scriptures
2 Timothy 2:15

The Gift #5 : Tell me

'How to be lovely', Fuengirola, Spain
Fuengirola, Spain (photo: Irene Bom)
 

John 15:26 (NIV)
Jesus said: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me.’

 

Reflection

Speak, Holy Spirit, I am listening.
Tell me of Jesus,
of his love revealed
in power
in word and deed,
leaving nothing undone,
love given freely, completely,
a love that will not let me go.

Spirit of the whole truth
and nothing but the truth,
tell me the old, old story
so Jesus becomes ever more real,
ever more present
in the new of this now.
Amen

by Irene Bom


Related Scriptures
1 John 5:7-12

The Gift #4 : Defence

Speak out what you see (mosaic)
Mosaic, Cape Town, South Africa (photo: Irene Bom)
 

Luke 12:11-12 (NIV)
Jesus said: ‘When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.’

 

Reflection

I’ve never been arrested,
but there have been times aplenty
I was forced
to take a stand.
Teach me, Holy Spirit,
to trust that
when trials come
you will give me
words that protect and reflect
the new life taking root in me.
Holy Spirit, be my defence.

by Irene Bom


Related Scriptures
Mark 13:11

The Gift #3 : Re-minder

Gift #3 - construction site
‘Entrance other side’ (photo: Irene Bom)
 

John 14:26 (NIV)
Jesus said: ‘The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’

 

Reflection

Father-sent Advocate
sent in Jesus’ name
teach me
teach me all things
and remind me of all Jesus said
not because I forget per se (though I do)
but because the mind of Christ is
not yet fully formed in me.

Coda
I am a building site,
under construction,
and the building company
is called Trinity.

by Irene Bom


Related Scriptures
1 Corinthians 2:12-16

The Gift #2 : For the asking

Muizenberg, Western Cape, South Africa
Muizenberg, Western Cape, South Africa (photo: Irene Bom)
 

Luke 11:13 (NIV)
Jesus said: ‘If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

 

Reflection

Our Father in heaven
giver of good gifts
– good to the core –
you know what we need
to live
and move
and have our being.
We ask you
– because Jesus said we could –
– because Jesus said we should –
give us our daily bread
give us your Spirit, we pray.
Amen

by Irene Bom


Related Scriptures
James 1:17

The Gift #1 : The Holy Spirit

Rotterdam Central Station, The Netherlands
Rotterdam Central Station, The Netherlands (photo: Irene Bom)
 

Acts 1:4-5 (NIV)
On one occasion, while he was eating with the apostles, Jesus gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

 

Reflection

Jesus, baptized baptizer,
the waiting is over.
The Spirit has come.
The Spirit is here.

Still, we ask,
Jesus, counsel us
as you did the early disciples
and guide our movements today,
so we might be in the right place
and the right frame of mind
– expectant and willing –
willing to be filled, like a billowing sail,
carried, transported,
borne, supported.
Amen.

by Irene Bom

 

Children’s prayer #1

 
This is the first in a series of prayers written by children from St Andrews Church, Brussels.
 
 
Thank you for sending your unstopping, never giving up, unbreaking love
 

Praise the Lord for what he does.
Praise him because he is good.
Lord our God is always near us, day and night.
He always will remember us.

For it is like he created a great big fantastic tree,
with his followers names on it,
and keeping watch over those people,
including me.

You will always know me.
Thank you for my love that I share.
For you are the greatest God ever.
Thank you because you teach people your word, and your greatness.
You are a great person because you sent prophets to the Israelites
to encourage them to fight Jericho and other things too.

Thank you for sending your unstopping,
never giving up, unbreaking love.

Annabelle Brink, St Andrews Brussels