John 16:12-15

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Over the past several weeks, I have found myself asking numerous questions of God. Our conversations are often filled with questions but it is not difficult for me to conclude that the recent circumstances have pushed me into questioning almost every facet of life experienced personally or imaginatively contemplated. Time after time and moment after moment in the midst of this COVID reality, I have desired to know what God is doing, where God is working, why is this happening, and why is there such injustice and inequality in this world? The list of questions does not stop there but continues until my questions become more personal in nature. It is at that moment that the space between my questions appears to grow larger. My thoughts grow deeper and more consuming while at the same time my listening become clearer and more focused. It is somewhere at this point I hear the Spirit telling me, “now we can talk.”

In the Gospel of John, we hear Jesus sharing with his disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus states, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” We all find ourselves asking questions when we are seeking and in need of guidance. I am reminded how important it is to not just ask the questions, but to listen for the response. We are all asking questions at this time. Our faith is rooted in an individual relationship but lived out in community. It is out of this personal root that transformation takes place in our own lives and transformation of the world in which we live. When we receive the right guidance we find our strength. The Holy Spirit’s guidance will enable us find strength to love and overcome any challenge. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches and to each of us in this moment.

Lord, open unto me. Open unto me – light for my darkness. Open unto me – courage for my fear. Open unto me – hope for my despair. Open unto me – peace for my turmoil. Open unto me – joy for my sorrow. Open unto me strength for my weakness. Open unto me – wisdom for my confusion Open unto me – forgiveness for my sins. Open unto me – love for my hates. Open unto me – thy Self for my self. Lord, Lord, open unto me!

(Howard Thurman)