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Spirit Move Me, God Help Me

CrossOver reflection for Week 28 • Beginning June 16, 2019
We Make the Road by Walking, Chapter 41

Teri Watanabe

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my [siblings]. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.” – Galatians 5:13-16 (NLT)

For almost 6 months, we have been walking/making a road together. What happens when the road feels like it’s now under water?

This image speaks to me of the road we think we walk on—how we might be so sure of our footing one day—with one frame of mind and one convicted stance, like singular rocks jutting from the earth—only to lose sight of and contact with the path when the floods of change swamp our shores.

God’s eternal presence sings in the streams of water and wind in all creation. The words from the song “God Help Me” by Plumb have been a soundtrack for my heart these days:

“Help me to move
 Help me to see
 Help me to do whatever you would ask of me 
 Help me to go 
 God help me to stay …
 God help me”

The lyrics “Help me to go/Help me to stay” seem to represent the push and pull of the current struggle we as United Methodists face as a denomination. It’s also representative of the magnetic attraction and repulsion of how we take sides within our own souls.

Our denomination has proved the world right. We are divided. We are hypocritical. We do not show love in the way that Jesus calls us to. Perhaps it would help to remember that even the phrase “maybe they’re just not there yet” is a judgment.

So it’s up to us to change—starting with ourselves. One heart at a time, each of us can make the choice to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, move us, help us to see. (Notice that sometimes the guide and the movement come before seeing and knowing where we are going.) 

It’s up to us to let the Holy Spirit breathe peace into our souls and let Spirit lead the way. Maybe then we can shine a different light into the world, God’s light.

What would happen if we unfurled our sails to catch Holy Spirit wind? If the tides of opportunity start rolling in, how could we move with each other in love?

  • Let us hear Jesus’ words through the paraphrase of The Message: “ Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” – John 13:34-35
  • Let us recall Paul’s words to the Romans, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” – Romans 13:8, NIV 

Here is the part of Plumb’s song that feels like the prayer my heart needs to hear right now:

“So take all my resistance 
 Oh God I need Your grace 
 One step and then the other—show me the way”

May we continue to pray for God to help us make Jesus’ road by walking. One step and then another. Spirit show us the way.

Teri Watanabe is a Certified Lay Minister serving the United Methodist Churches of Monroe and Valley in Oregon.

Song credit: “God Help Me” performed by Plumb, written by Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, Christa Wells, and Luke Sheets, © 2017.

Photo credit: David Fujii, © 2017, used by permission.

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