“But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
When someone goes away it is sometimes good to have a reminder of them. If a friend goes on holiday, they may send a postcard. Distant family relations may send us cards for Christmas and birthdays. If a loved one dies, we hold onto the memories of that person and sometimes that is through the places or objects that were special to them. In our reading today Jesus is going away “to the one who sent me.” Some of the disciples didn’t understand what he was saying when he said he was going away (see John 16:17-18) and perhaps they thought he was going to be with them for their whole earthly lives. However, Jesus had a different life plan. He was to go to Jerusalem, surrender his life and rise again to fulfil what the prophets had written of the Messiah. Jesus wasn’t going to leave the disciples alone, then or today. He promised the Holy Spirit, to be a counsellor or advocate (paraclete) for us. Some of the Holy Spirit’s work is outlined by Jesus and is summed up as:
Conviction Helping people to see Jesus for who he is and our need of him God’s Righteousness Pointing to the work of Jesus on the cross, freeing us from sin and death and making us right before God by his grace Judgement Reminding us that one day Christ will come again and judge all Truth We, who follow Jesus, will be guided by the Spirit in our lives and as we read God’s Word Glory The Holy Spirit always points to Jesus and Jesus to the Father. A wonderful Trinitarian dance of love!
We are not left alone as we have the Holy Spirit with us in power. As disciples of Jesus we have to be open to the Spirit’s power to work in and through us in our daily lives and in our times of worship so that the glory and honour goes to our Trinitarian God.
Lord I come to you Let my heart be changed renewed Flowing from the grace that I have found in you And lord I have come to know The weakness I see in me Will be stripped away By the power of your love
Hold me close let your love surround me Bring me near draw me to your side And as I wait I’ll rise up like an eagle And I will soar with you Your spirit leads me on By the power of your love
Lord unveil my eyes Let me see you face to face The knowledge of your love As you live in me Lord renew my mind As your will unfolds in my life In living everyday By the power of your love
Hold me close let your love surround me Bring me near draw me to your side And as I wait I’ll rise up like an eagle And I will soar with you Your spirit leads me on By the power of your love Amen.
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
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