Day 23 Focus: Sealed by the Holy Spirit—there is no separation from God
Level 1: (5 Minutes) Our focus for this week is what it means to bear burdens. Jesus humbly took up the cross for us. This week, let us think about what is means to have Jesus willing to bear the burden for all of humanity.
Level 2: (10 minutes) Do Level 1. After Reading the scripture adaptation, take 5 minutes to concentrate on the part that speaks to you today.
Adapted from Romans 8:31-37. In the name of Jesus, I claim this mighty prayer in my own life. If You are for me, who can be against me? You who did not spare Your own son, but delivered Him up for my sin, how will You not also through Jesus freely give me all things and protect me through all circumstances? Who can bring a charge against me as one of Your elect? Only You can justify! What is able to separate me from Your love? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No! In all of these things I overwhelmingly conquer through Your love. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing shall separate me from Your love, found in Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
Level 3: (15 minutes) After pausing to breathe, reading the Scripture prayer, and marking the part that speaks to you, write about a time someone else carried a burden for you, or when you carried a burden for someone else.
Level 4: (30-60 minutes) Last week did not go as I had planned. I was without my computer; my iPad was a bit persnickety; Facebook sent a notice that my account might be sending unwanted messages; and travel left me weary. The last night of our stay in Texas, loud music outside our hotel kept us awake, and daylight savings time meant we lost sleep. Poor planning on my part left me little time to write, meditate and record messages. However, I received an email from a member of our Beloved Community and she told me of how she was using the prayers we have in our book to write her own original prayer each day. When I read what she wrote, I felt a sense of gladness—it was as if the Holy Spirit had lifted a burden. While I was otherwise distracted, the Holy Spirit was working. (I will share what she wrote on Facebook, if I am able to get into my page today.) I have not been as focused during this Lenten Season, so this has been a good lesson for me.
Jesus fell three times carrying that cross. At one point, Simon of Cyrene (next week’s focus) stepped in to help him. Jesus assured the disciples that he would send an advocate to help humanity. The Holy Spirit is always there to help us, and reaches out to us whether we realize it or not. We cannot separate ourselves from God—we can be distracted, disorganized, and even disobedient—but God is always with us.