Advent 2015 // Love of the Spirit

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

There is a lot of darkness in the world right now, and many are afraid. The news constantly shows violence. TV shows and movies are permeated with broken relationships, immorality, and twisted views of love and beauty. ISIS and other terrorists are attacking innocent people in countries around the world, including their own, in the name of their god. There are countless unknowns about the future – socially, economically, politically, etc.

Yet Jesus constantly tells us to be not afraid. There are hundreds of times that peace is mentioned in the Bible, and we are familiar with several stories where he says, “Peace be with you.”

But what happened after Jesus left? After the Ascension and he was no longer appearing to his disciples?

He sent his advocate, the Holy Spirit.

In John 14:26-27 at the Last Supper, Jesus says:

“The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

I have learned that one of the greatest ways to show God's love to others and be a light in this world is to be peaceful, to not be afraid. I have also learned that this most often increases as we grow in our relationship with the Holy Spirit because Christ specifically sent him as his advocate to help us after he ascended. The Holy Spirit is the light in each situation that puts everything in perspective, showing us their true importance (or lack thereof) and giving us the grace to respond in love.

Of course, courageous and calm people also tend to have peaceful disposition, but there is something distinctly different about those who have their foundation in the peace of God. It catches others off-guard as they realize suffering, death, and trials do not scare those people (even though they are still difficult).

Many people find this third person of the Trinity the most mysterious, the least tangible, and therefore the most unfamiliar. But I encourage you to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit and ask him to help you grow in love for others, recognizing his gentle promptings throughout your day. Leading up to Christmas and spending time with family will be a perfect time to practice listening and abiding in his peace.

Be not afraid. The darkness will never overcome the light.

Study Questions

What does my relationship with the Holy Spirit look like?

What is stopping me from realizing the work of the Spirit in my life?

How can I pay more attention and act in the Spirit throughout my day?

This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts. 

To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link