This passage is recorded after Jesus talks about his twelve disciples going out to the Gentiles to proclaim that the kingdom of God had come near. He gives them instructions for the journey and warns them that they may be handed over to the authorities, in which case they should not worry about what to say, but the Holy Spirit would give them what to speak.
On our spiritual pilgrimage, the Holy Spirit can guide and comfort us when we are open to receiving the help. It can also speak through us, when we are called to witness to our faith, and when we are called to proclaim that the kingdom of God has come near.
A few years ago I was fortunate to lead two Lutheran (ELCA) Synod workshops on the topic of discipleship, one in Michigan and one in Indiana within a few weeks of each other. For both workshops I had a handout with a presentation that I could have given. However, the sessions were right after lunch and people had listened to speakers all morning, and I thought that it would a challenge to keep their attention. After a brief overview, I asked them to quickly read over my handout and come up with topics that they wanted to hear versus what I thought they wanted to hear.
In that way they were more invested in the discussion, and we let the Holy Spirit guide what would be covered. It could have been a risk on my part to do it this way, because you never know where the discussion would go. Both breakouts seemed to go well and those who attended appeared to get something out of them. When I had done presentations in the past, I generally followed my outline to keep everything on track. I still had to keep things under control and moving in this case, but I trusted that what would be covered was what the people needed to hear.
May you be open to the Holy Spirit giving you guidance on your daily walk and when you are speaking about your faith or proclaiming the gospel message. It takes courage to trust and to give up some control of the situation, but that is what Jesus asked his disciples to do, hopefully you can do the same when the time is right to do so!
Prayer, Holy Spirit, please help me to trust and believe that you are guiding me and comforting me, and may I be willing to let you speak through me when that is what is needed! Amen. Vernon T.
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