Mark 13:11 – When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. (NRSV)
Over the years, as I have been teaching Sunday School or conducting worship services while camping with my son's Scout troop, I have noticed a curious phenomenon. I would spend many hours researching, organizing, outlining, and even drafting whole paragraphs beforehand, to make sure I covered all the important points and said just the right thing. However, once I started speaking, I would find myself saying something entirely different, something that I had not planned to say, but nonetheless, something much better, more insightful, and more meaningful. It was as if someone else had taken over my mouth and was using me as their mouthpiece to speak for them. When I mentioned this to our pastor, he confirmed what I already believed: it was the Holy Spirit making His presence known by speaking through me. It was something he had experienced as well.
To experience God's presence can be a frightening thing, even today, even if it is only acting as His mouthpiece upon occasion. It means that God is real. He truly does exist, and with that existence comes all the consequences of His existence — an existence that cannot be ignored. There are consequences if we choose to ignore His voice and do what we want to do, rather than what He would have us do. However, with this knowledge also comes the reassurance of the promise of His love and gift of grace. If God speaks to us, if He speaks through us, it is by the gift of the Holy Spirit, who comes through Christ's sacrifice, and it is through that sacrifice that we have the hope for our salvation.
Psalm 15:1-2 – O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill? Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart. (NRSV)
Prayer: Lord, open our ears so that we may hear Your message; open our mouths so that we may speak Your message; and open our hearts so that we may be obedient to Your message — today and every day. Amen.