But the Holy Spirit gives us love for others

Romans 15:30 Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 13:8 Pay everything you owe. But you can never pay back all the love you owe one another (NIRV).

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love.

Last week I had the opportunity to share about Karis’s experience with a group of chaplains. It brought back to me the incredible grace, friendship and love we received from people who “joined in our struggle” over the thirty years of her life. Perhaps you are one of them. Thank you. How could we have survived without you?

Two of Karis’s precious friends, who stuck with her through thick and thin (photo near the end of her life)

As we consider our reasons for thankfulness this week, I also think of you who read and interact with this blog. Your comments and appreciation encourage me to continue, but I’m going to make a change. As an attempt at greater “searchability,” the posted title will reflect the content. “But God …” will still be the theme, but it will appear in the post itself. Feedback to this change is welcome!

One thing that will not change is my desire to post YOUR story of how God has intervened in your life. I would love, love, love for you to write and share your experience with God, to encourage other people and give him credit.

Today’s post is the last one in “ordinary time” of the church calendar, since I’ll be engaged with my gathered family on Thursday, and Nov. 28 is the first Sunday in Advent. Here and there I’ve seen references to people feeling anxious about gathering with their families this holiday season, fearing conflicts over political issues.

I find it encouraging that in this, Paul’s last reference to the Holy Spirit in the book of Romans, Paul shows us the beautiful fruit the Holy Spirit desires to grow in us, the fruit of love. We can ask the Holy Spirit to grow love in us, to increase our desire for harmony with those most important to us, our own families.

We have so much to share and to be grateful for—let’s not allow it to be sabotaged by politics! Instead, let’s listen to each other. Covid has increased many people’s feelings of loneliness, possibly people among our own families and friends.

And if you’d like a great (and entertaining) sermon about preparing our hearts for the holidays, I recommend Alex Banfield Hicks’ sermon yesterday (if it’s not up yet, it will be soon)!

Happy Thanksgiving.

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