When I was in college, I attended a Walk to Emmaus Weekend. Following this amazing retreat with men, a group of us started an accountability group to keep the spiritual momentum going. Ed hosted this weekly get together on Monday night which was attended by Dave, D.R., Jack and me. The Reunion Group relied on an outline for sharing that included your moment closest to Christ. While at work today, the Holy Spirit opened by eyes and heart to a spiritual element that has been missing from my life.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— 17 The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you, John 16:16-17.
The emotions that I experienced were brought on due to my sister’s current battle with ovarian cancer. When I first moved to Delaware 25 years ago, I spent the first 10 years getting together on Friday nights for a combination of cards and games. While these nights at her house were often competitive and intense, this time brought our families together as my two oldest boys got to spend time with their older cousins Lizzy and Rachael. Unfortunately, over the past 15 years I’ve become so consumed with my own life that I haven’t spent enough time with the people I love.
I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. 19 Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you, John 16:18-20.
My moment closest to Christ came in the form of a rhema, a message from the Holy Spirit. I was reminded of the song Wanting the Things You Get by Santa Fe. The message of the attached You Tube pierced my heart, flooding my soul with conviction of not investing my time on earth in relationships. Instead, I’ve wasted a decade on self-indulgence on my computer, phone and watching television. My pledge for 2023 is to begin focusing my life and time centered around getting to know and love my neighbors. As I continue to pray for the miracle of healing for my sister Kathie, seize every moment that you have with family this Christmas.
by Jay Mankus