August 18, 2017

Lord, you offer us

a foretaste of heaven

as we stumble through this world.

Let us taste its sweetness today

as we walk

side by side with you.

By Martha L Shaw ©2016



Yeats and the Holy Spirit

October 8, 2011

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
William Butler Yeats


“So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.”  Luke 20:20-22   Jesus taught the twelve many things, yet it wasn’t enough, was it?  When He left them, they locked themselves in a room and were full of fear.  He said He would be with them always.  But how? 


“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”
Acts 2:2-4  Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to fill them, guard them, and guide them – and us – and thus yes, the Teacher is with us always.  How appropriate, therefore, is the quote from Yeats which speaks of education as the “lighting of a fire.” 


Fire is defined in many ways.  We often think of it as a destructive force.  It means so much more than that.  Jesus knew this.  Yeats did.  If we think about it, so do we.  The word fire also means to be inflamed with passion, or to be spirited.  Spirited.  That’s what happened to the disciples that day.  It’s what can happen to us.  We can be “spirited” by inviting the Lord to fill us with His Holy Spirit and by surrendering our life to Him.  Scary?  Maybe.  But let’s think about it a little.


Jesus chose twelve men to be His “students” and spent three years teaching them His Father’s ways, His ways.  Three years to change them into a team that will change the world?  How can they have possibly learned enough in three years?  Could they have learned enough in thirty or even in three hundred years?  Likely not.  Yet, He commissioned them to continue His good work.  To quote the Book of Common Prayer “the good work which he has begun in you.”  He, Jesus, wanted them and today wants us to continue His good work.  Again, the question is how? 


How were a small group of society’s misfits who Jesus chose to walk the dry and dusty roads with Him to have spread His message?  How are we, in our brokenness to continue this today in our complex society full of darkness and despair?  We can’t.  But, by giving ourselves to Him, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit.  We can indeed experience what the disciples did.  The tongues of fire which went from head to head back then can inflame us as well!  We are not limited by what our minds hold.  We can live by what our heart and soul contains and if we invite the Lord to take us over and make us over and to live in us and through us, His Holy Spirit can and will inflame us, inspire us, and through Him, the fire can and will spread far and wide!   Come Holy Spirit! 





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