June is racing by.
Here’s the wisdom for this week.
5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.
5:14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
5:15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
5:16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
5:17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.
5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.
5:19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness,
5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions,
5:21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
5:22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
5:23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in sight of all. People will give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as if on the stage. But active love is labor and fortitude.
Source: The Brothers Karamazov
We like to explain things in the UCC. But the Spirit is inexplicable. That might be its best asset. Our religion rests upon the knowledge of God that Christ gives us. That’s great, but it is good to be reminded that God is also wild and uncontainable. She goes where she will go. Sometimes like a rushing wind and sometimes so quietly you barely sense her.
The best definition of the Holy Spirit I’ve ever read is in a poem: “A Light Breather” by Theodore Roethke. I don’t understand it. I just feel its power and I know it’s beautiful.
A Light Breather
The spirit moves,
Stirs as a blossom stirs,
Still wet from its bud-sheath,
Turning in the light with its tendrils;
Plays as a minnow plays,
Tethered to a limp weed, swinging,
Tail around, nosing in and out of the current,
Its shadows loose, a water finger;
Moves, like the snail,
Taking and embracing its surroundings,
Never wishing itself away,
Unafraid of what it is,
A music in a hood,
A small thing,