Feasting on Fruit: Nine Days of Welcoming the Holy Spirit

May 23rd, 2014

Are you breathing? Then you are enjoying the gift of the Spirit of Life. Yet God is such a generous gift-giver, there is more...we have access to the dynamic, creative, and healing power of this Life-giving Spirit. We are invited to feast on and bring into this world God's nourishing gifts—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Now doesn't that sound better than mere survival? What does it require?—Openness to God.

Throughout the New Testament we see a variety of ways Jesus-followers encountered the Holy Spirit and brought to life, or incarnated, the Living God through the Spirit's power. Mystical encounters and experiences like Pentecost, Peter's vision, and Paul's blinding as well as soul-shaping conversations, prayers, and testimonies unleashed a power leading to boldness, change, forgiveness, healing and love. This same Spirit is still available within, around, and among us today.

Looking at Scripture and sitting with people as a spiritual director, here's something I notice about many who experience and embody the Beloved—they were and are not perfect people, but prayerful people. They long for God to speak. They learn to discern and recognize God's voice, whether it comes in ordinary ways like through the words of Scripture or a friend or unorthodox ways like a burning bush or nighttime dream. They are willing to be changed by God and follow God's instructions. Once again, these instructions may be ordinary like treating an employee with fairness or offering kindness to an angry family member. These instructions may also be unorthodox like marrying a woman saying she is pregnant by immaculate conception or welcoming the very group of people one was excluding, even persecuting.

Are you willing to spend nine days becoming even more open to this God?
What might happen as our minds, hearts and bodies offer a deeper hospitality to the Holy Spirit?

For the next 9 days (or 9 weeks depending on how you would like to go through the practices) you are invited to take and eat of some simple exercises focusing on the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.

(The whole series is posted here and the free pdf download below explains the body postures, one of the suggested prayer exercises.)

St. Ignatius of Loyola once mentioned that it is not the abundance of knowledge that satisfies the soul but the interior sense and taste of spiritual things. Start tasting by picking at least one suggested exercise out of each of the two groupings. You might even consider ways to integrate this series into your small group or congregation. The practices are found under:

Breathe In
Breathe Out

After his resurrection, it is written that Jesus appeared to his disciples inside the room where they were fearfully gathered and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” “And with that,” wrote John, “he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'” They did, and what followed not long after?—Pentecost.

This power of the Spirit they breathed in Jesus' presence, they also heard and saw evidence of in Jesus' absence. They knew His Spirit continued to be with them and they went from being fearful to miraculously speaking good news to the diverse world right around them. Witnesses were either amazed as they recognized their mother-tongues being spoken in the cacophony or they were calling the disciples fools for they only heard the cacophony. Regardless, a revolution of healing love began which would change the world.

May you breathe deeply this same Spirit. May you be willing to look like a fool. May you feast on the Spirit's fruit and become what you eat. May the world taste and see that the Lord is good.

The whole series is posted here and the free pdf download below explains the body postures, one of the suggested prayer exercises.


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