Jefferson Presbyterian Church, Jefferson, GAIn just two short Sundays, the celebration of Pentecost will be upon us; We will have waved good-bye to Jesus on Ascension Day--and then, iron your red dresses and put on your red ties--the HOLY SPIRIT will be upon us - resting above our heads like tongues of fire.
May 25, 2014
But, we’re not there yet. We’re in an in between period. In between places can be kind of hard places to be--the already but not yet--something big is going to happen, but…
we have to wait….
The disciples are in an in between place in chapter 14 of John. Here, Jesus begins what is frequently called the Farewell Discourse...
He’s going away, and so he gives this goodbye speech.
Like an elected official, his term is coming to an end..this final address.
Like a graduating senior, he is moving on to something new..was he valedictorian?
Last week, Rev. Evans preached on the first part of Chapter 14, and I would like to begin this morning’s reading with verses 12 and continue onto verse 20;
Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
15 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18 ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
This is the word of the Lord...Thanks be to God
Jesus says he will ask the father to give his followers another Advocate.
He assures his disciples:
I won’t leave you orphaned! You won’t be abandoned!
Enter into the mystery of the divine self….
You will know the Advocate, because he abides with you; he will be in you.
Because I live; you will live.
I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
John loves to use this mystical language
This is not some external concept;
more than a partnership...more than a co-pilot
this is a mutual indwelling…...a deeper connection than any word can define.
The advocate is with those who love God.
The Advocate works in the world so that the world may experience God.
The greek word used here is Parakletos (παράκλητος) or paraclete
The Paraclete or advocate means
“in the widest sense, a helper, aider, assistant…
destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth,
and give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom” (biblewebapp.com)
So let’s use that as our starting point: A helper, aider, assistant.
Have any of you needed help, aid, or assistance in your life?
What a gift when people are willing to help us, and when we can be receptive to others helping us...a hard thing sometimes.
Was that the Advocate working in this world when someone helped you?
We have to remind ourselves of the Beatles song:
“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.”
You may have that song stuck in your heads the rest of the day...sorry!