Pause

Come, Holy Spirit!
Come, fill our minds with your vision.
Come, fill our souls with your passionate fire.
Come, fill our mouths with words from your tongue.
Come, fill our hearts with your unconditional love.
Come, Holy Spirit!

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Listen

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:22-25

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Think

“Now hope that is seen is not hope.” This passage from Romans is always puzzling to me, and even more so the longer I'm around new mothers and children. I've seen mothers hope to carry a child to the point of groaning with the pains of childbirth. I've seen their pregnancies go to full term and then watched them hold their new babies for the first time. Their hopes were not only seen, but were so tangible there weren't words to describe them.

While we hope against hope for many things in life, our adoptions as children of God are already finalized. It is our adoption that we cling to when we feel there is no hope. As the Spirit grants us patience, we are able to patiently hope and faithfully pray for what we do not yet have. For with our adoption comes the promise that absolutely nothing can ever or will ever separate us from the love of our perfect Parent. And by that hope we are saved.

Ashley-Anne Masters

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Pray

God of hopes visible and invisible, grant me the patience that can only come from your Spirit. I pray in the name of your Child, who is my greatest hope in life and in death. Amen

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Go

Go, Holy Spirit!
Go blow away that which is destructive to ourselves and others.
Go resuscitate and breathe life into those in distress.
Go before us, leading us in the way of truth and hope.
Go, in spite of our attempts to rein you in and keep you confined.
Go, Holy Spirit!

Ashley-Anne Masters

Ashley-Anne Masters is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and currently serves as a hospital chaplain and freelance writer in Chicago, Illinois. She is co-author of Bless Her Heart: Life as a Young Clergy Woman and author of Holding Hope: Grieving Pregnancy Loss During Advent.

A Holy Moment

Ken Medema

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