On this 6th Sunday of Easter we continue reading the Gospel of John, from chapters 8-14, all the way from the story of the woman caught in adultery to the beginning of the Last Supper. In the midst of all the territory covered in these chapters, we also encounter the Paraclete – something that we tend to characterize as the Holy Spirit, Advocate, or Counselor, though the Anchor Bible Dictionary’s “Paraclete” entry reminds us of the difficulty of assigning one simple meaning to this word. Nonetheless, Berge reminds us that through the Holy Spirit God gives us peace, and Koester reminds us, “The Spirit is sometimes called the Advocate or Counselor, because it brings people to a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and empowers them in witness (14:26; 15:26-27).”
What has been your experience of the Holy Spirit?
This week we read Part 3, “Managing Your Fears,” Chapter 5, “The Problem You Should Be Solving” of the T+P+A Big Read 2019, The Lifelong Activist. Rettig explains that procrastination usually is less a problem of laziness or lack of discipline and more a problem of either fear or not knowing the habits of productive work. She goes into greater detail in upcoming chapters, but for the time being, provides us with what she calls “Simple Productivity Behaviors” and the exercise “Being a Compassionate Self-Observer.” (I don’t know if you notice how you treat yourself – but is it as kindly as you treat others?)
Work on implementing the Simple Productivity Behaviors and try the exercise “Being a Compassionate Self-Observer.” What comes out of doing these things for you?
C’mon over to People of the Books, our online book club in which we discuss this book and whatever else is on your mind or heart!
We continue praying through Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime: A Manual for Prayer, with “the Sunday closest to May 25”. How is your practice of praying the divine hours going?
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- Aston, John. “Paraclete.” The Anchor Bible Dictionary 5.
- Berge, Paul S. “Easter to Trinity with the Gospel of John: Bearing Witness to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Word & World XVIII.2 (1998): 207-216. https://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/content/pdfs/18-2_Ecumenism/18-2_Berge.pdf.
- Brussat, Frederic and Mary Ann. “Easter: Resurrection as a Spiritual Practice,” March 28, 2013.
- ExploreFaith.org. “The Divine Hours: A Complete Guide to the Ancient Practice of Fixed-Hour Prayer,” accessed May 6, 2019. http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/prayer/fixed/index.php
- Koester, Craig. “Enter the Bible: John,” n.d.
- Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- Rettig, Hillary. “The Problem You Should Be Solving” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006.
- Tickle, Phyllis. The Divine Hours (Volume Three): Prayers for Springtime: A Manual for Prayer. New York: Image Books, 2016.
- White, L. Michael. Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2010.