This Week’s Readings: St. John 15:26-16:4
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. (St. John 15:26)
At the Ascension Jesus left in one way, and promised to be with us another way. Now we hear Jesus say that His Helper is the one whom He shall send. And what will this Helper do? He will point us to Jesus, for that is always the work of the Holy Spirit. “He will testify of Me.” And He is “the Spirit of truth.” And what did Jesus say of Himself elsewhere? “I am the way and the TRUTH and the life.” The Spirit of truth is the Spirit of Jesus. The Helper helps us to Jesus. The Spirit testifies of Jesus. So, the Spirit comforts and helps us by pointing us to Jesus – to His work of suffering, dying, and rising in order to pay for the sins of the world.
Jesus helps us get ready for the Day of Pentecost when God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh; that is just a few days away. In the mean time, the comfort of Jesus’ Ascension is that He does not leave us alone in the midst of an otherwise God-forsaken world. The Ascended Lord has sent us the Helper, the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit.
Through the preaching of His Gospel that same Spirit creates and sustains faith in those who hear that Word, wherever it pleases Him. That God, in Christ, has taken to Himself the sins of all mankind and crucified them with Himself on the cross is the most liberating, freeing, comforting message of all. That God imparts His Spirit in the waters of Holy Baptism to wash away sin and give us the new birth from above is joy and comfort for the troubled soul. That God, in Christ, chooses willingly to take up residence in us in His body and blood under bread and wine is true comfort, help, and forgiveness.
O King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father; for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for the Seventh Sunday of Easter)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.