Friday, January 9, 2009

January 9, 2009

The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly in Israel. Luke 1:80

What do the words strong in spirit mean to you? From a Christian perspective, I immediately think of the Holy Spirit. But we often call stubborn, strong-willed, rebellious and often misbehaving children "highly spirited." So, rather than being a positive trait, it is often thought of as a negative one. Perhaps this is what the Bible is referring to rather than the Holy Spirit.

In this case, John, strong in spirit as a child, may have often been in trouble for being independent, for following a different drummer, or for not accepting authority as it was given to him. He was entitled to be a priest just like his father - perhaps to be educated in Jerusalem. Yet we don't have a story of him with the teachers in the temple! In fact, the scripture indicates that he lived in the wilderness long before his adult ministry. Was he forced to do this because of his own stubbornness or life situations?

Perhaps being high spirited can be a good behavior if we look at it from John's perspective.

God, strengthen us with your Spirit whatever our personality traits. Thank you. Amen.

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