“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28 NRSV)
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26 NRSV)
Lockdown, self-isolation, quarantine, number of cases today, number of deaths to date. The news in the UK is dominated by Corona virus. I guess this is the case where you are too. Suddenly the only thing of importance is Covid19. So how do we deal with this? What would Jesus have us do? What happens to my Rhythm of Life when I can’t visit, practice hospitality or attend worship? When I can’t attend fitness classes or prayer meetings or social gatherings?
We are facing strange times, uncharted territory. But it’s not uncharted to the Holy Spirit. He is our advocate and our teacher/coach, bringing to mind Jesus’s words and actions.
To quote Benedict* ‘We shall run on the path of God’s commandments.’ I love that, I can picture a sort of path laid out over swampy land, rough terrain, even stormy waters, which is smooth enough for me to run along! And to quote Jan Johnson, don’t ask “What would Jesus do?” ask, “How would Jesus do it.”
These verses are so beautiful. As we meditate they create a ‘place of rest’. We are not alone, we have a Shepherd who knows us. He knows how we react, how we feel, He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. We are utterly, completely safe with Him. And we will hear him speaking to us. The Holy Spirit is on our side and by our side, He will make sure we know what we need to know.
The last three weeks have been particularly difficult for my husband and me but we have been given verse after verse of encouragement, had clear words prayed over us and, when we have felt ourselves descending into a ‘miry pit’ of misery, the Holy Spirit has lifted our hearts. Corona virus now seems to have overtaken any personal troubles.
For those of us who see our diaries becoming emptier, perhaps we can make the most of this time. ‘Seeking after the manifest presence of God’ **. We can be confident that we will hear His voice, we will be kept in His presence and we will somehow know what we should do!
Prayer of Response:
“Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, enfold me in your love, keep me in your presence, show me how to live and how to love. Keep me from fear.”
— Submitted by Elaine Davis
Elaine is married to Neil. They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They serve in different ways in the local church and wider community. She loves to run courses; Marriage Course, Prophecy Course, and Taste and See (Mindful eating) being the most recent.
ROL = Rhythm of Life. Our reflections for 2020 are themed around framing and forming a personal Rhythm (Rule) of Life as a Lifesprings community.