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The Fire

Read John 14:15-27

"If you love me, obey me, and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter, and he will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, for it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, for he live with you now and some day shall be in you."

John 14:15-17 (TLB)

Gael Stuart Phaneuf, from Colorado, was six years old and sleeping soundly when he was shaken awake and yanked out of bed by his panic-stricken mother who was saying, "There's a fire." Her trembling hands pulled a shirt over his head as they ran outside and away from their apartment. They stood at a distance, and Gael heard his mother softly murmuring prayers for God's protection as firetrucks roared in and the crew began fighting the blaze. Clutching her hand, Gael looked up to see smoke pouring from many windows of the building from which they had just escaped. His heart pounded loudly, and he remembers praying, "I pray the Lord my soul to keep." Gael did not have a lot of prayers to draw upon at that age, but his mother's murmurings and the security he felt as she pulled him close brought him great comfort.

In his adult life, when Gael faces unexpected and sometimes terrible events, he often experiences something similar. The Holy Spirit surrounds him, calming his racing heart just as his mother did so long ago, and Gael again whispers, "I pray the Lord my soul to keep." In today's scripture reading, Jesus said he would ask the Father to send a Companion who would never leave us. God sent the Holy Spirit with a promise to be with us always. We are never alone in this challenging life.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for holding us always through the power of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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