Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Thursday, December 22
By Katie (and Evie) Strangis
The Power of Three
Read: Romans 15:14
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in your faith, so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Chats with Evie are often spiritual. This kid has a lot of questions about God and Jesus and especially Heaven. A (small) sampling of questions have included:
“What do you think heaven is like?”
“How will I know who I was in heaven before Jesus put me on earth?”
“Do you think God is in this cheeseburger?”
Some of the hardest ones are about the Holy Spirit, and, because she often sees me editing our online worship service at home, she has asked me, “What does Pastor Catherine mean when she says the ‘fewowship of the Howy Spirit’?”
When Evie and I talk about the Holy Spirit, I’m usually just winging it, unsure what to tell her because, to me, the Holy Spirit really is a great mystery. But framing it as the fellowship of the Holy Spirit has made it easier to understand. We talk about it as the community to which we belong; or as I describe it to Evie, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is sort of like the family and friendship of the Holy Spirit. It gives us something really special to connect to. Fellowship makes us stronger because it means we are not alone. I thought for a long time that I could believe in God and Jesus without church … and I still get bogged down sometimes by flawed people running religious institutions (I am a very flawed person who works at a religious institution after all!). But ever since I started attending church again, I have felt the hope and promise and fellowship that comes from being in a spiritual community again. We may enjoy very individual and complex relationships with God and Jesus, but for me, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is what keeps me going when I feel alone or like I cannot grapple with the magnitude of the mystery of faith.
I hope my kids will lean into and grow with the Holy Spirit as they get older and deepen their understanding of the Trinity. I’ll be relying on that hope and fellowship — and a lot of mystery — as I walk through Advent this year.
Triune God, you have given us so many ways to understand you, and yet you are still a powerful mystery. Thank you for our children, who both complicate and demystify you, distilling the hope, joy, peace and love you have shared with us through the trinity. Amen.