Kathryn recently wrote a reflection for a series of Lent devotionals produced by the Methodist Church in Ireland (you can subscribe to the Prayer Focus e-mail here). It was based on that day’s lectionary reading (Luke 4:1-13), which you can read here. Kathryn works part-time for the Home Mission Department as Project Worker, supporting the department as it resources God’s people for mission.
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit…”
On a typical day in my house three boys arrive home from school, the toddler gets up from his nap and the noise levels climb, gradually reaching a peak in the run up to bedtime. The bedtime delay tactics are in full flow and already frazzled, I start to find it harder and harder to keep my cool. The next thing that happens is the mighty shout of “Go to bed now or you’ll lose your screen time forever!”
We always say ‘goodnight’ on a positive note, but I find myself processing the day and working out how to make sure the same chaos doesn’t happen the next night. I’ll talk to my husband about how to do things differently, read a few helpful articles (probably written by naturally calm parents of naturally compliant children 😉) on Facebook about how to stop shouting at your kids and make a defiant proclamation that “I’ll stay calm tomorrow night”. And then bedtime rolls round again and guess what happens…?
Luke 4:1-13 recounts how, before Jesus began his ministry, he was led by the Sprit into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. As I read this passage, it was the first few words that jumped out to me… “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit…” These words point to the significant event that happened to Jesus before this encounter with the devil, Jesus’ baptism (Luke 3: 21-22), where the “Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove”. There is no doubt that it is of vital importance that Jesus faced one of his greatest challenges after his baptism and “full of the Holy Spirit” and was therefore able to withstand these temptations.
Jesus, the Son of God, needed the help of the Holy Spirit in his life on earth yet so often I think I can do it on my own. It’s clear to me that no amount of self-reflection or parenting articles will put me on the right track at bedtime in my house! I need to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit, allowing my heart to be changed and my spirit to be calmed so that I can react differently in those fraught moments.
Take a few moments to be quiet today… Is there an area of your life that you know you can’t change in your own strength? Take some time to ask the Holy Spirit to fill you today, to be at work transforming your heart, emotions and character to think and act in the way that brings glory to God and encouragement to those around you.