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Romans 8:18-39, Nothing Can Separate Us

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
— Romans 8:31

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, June 9, 2019 — Day of Pentecost

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


Main Idea: The Holy Spirit connects us and makes us stronger together.

Years ago, as a parish pastor, I ministered to a family whose baby had been born at 23 weeks’ gestation. Little J spent a few months in the hospital before she died. During those months, several others and I visited her hospital incubator, reading her stories, and singing her songs. I will never forget her mom telling me she was too angry and too grieved to pray. She’d sit in church empty and unable to participate in the celebratory nature of many of Sunday’s services. I told her, in these moments when life becomes too painful to pray, that is when she can let the community of faith pray for her. To me, this is the ultimate gift of a “Spirit [that] intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” It is the gift of a community that holds us up when we are not strong enough to stand on our own. And we can be uplifted knowing that nothing, not even debilitating grief, can separate us from the love of God.

The gift of Pentecost was that the Spirit brought people together. It broke through the barriers of language and culture to bind people through the touch of the Holy Spirit. We are much stronger together than the sum of our strength apart. It can be hard to let others help us, be there for us, pray for us, do things for us. But just as we feel no bitterness toward those we help, neither will others feel bitterness toward us when they help us.

It is in being vulnerable, and in being strong for others, that we can truly know what it is to live in the Spirit. How can we become more vulnerable?

Earlier Event: June 8
Romans 13:1-14, Love for One Another
Later Event: June 10
Romans 8:18-39, Pentecost