Reflections: Pentecost

May 19, 2024 

Today’s Reading: John 15:26-27;16:4 b-15 

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 21:10-35Luke 21:20-38

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:26–27)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do I have to do this by myself? Do I have to do this all on my own? Am I strong enough? Have I done enough reading? Am I smart enough? 

These are all questions that flew into my mind when I first learned the faith. Study church history, or read the Acts of the Apostles, and you will know that at some point, confession is required of Christians. Now, this is not always the huge affair, where you have a sword to your neck or lions licking their chops on the sand of the coliseum. It might even be completely innocent, and not malicious at all. It could be your friend who doesn’t go to church at your lunch table asking, “Now what is it that you Christians believe about __________?” It could be your coworker at the water cooler asking why you even bother going to church every Sunday when you can read the Bible at home. Sooner or later, you must give an account. You must confess. 

And this possibility makes some of us (me included) very nervous! Think back to the questions from the beginning. Do I have to do this all by myself? Am I able to do it? These questions were probably going through the Apostle’s minds as Jesus was telling them what they must do. But there is a problem with those questions. They are all “I” questions. It’s focusing on the wrong person. The Good News that Jesus gives the Apostles is the same Good News for you: You aren’t doing it alone. You have a helper. And this helper gives you the words to say; He gives you the answers to the test. 

And who is this helper? Is it some angel that only you can see holding up a sign with the words to say? No, but that might be pretty cool sometimes. But this helper is even better. This helper is the Holy Spirit. And that test, that moment of confession when words are required, won’t be the first time that He has rolled onto the scene in your life. 

Because this is the same Holy Spirit given at your Baptism. It’s the same Holy Spirit that leads you to confess your sins every week. It’s the same Holy Spirit that leads you to receive the Sacrament of the Altar in faith. 

Are you able to do it on your own? No, but you don’t have to. You have a helper. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

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