There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
The world is a hard place. So much noise and commotion, so many challenges and tribulations. How shall we overcome the pain and suffering? Where is our help?
Their time together was drawing to a close. Soon, the ruler of the world would send his minions to capture the man the people of the town were calling “the Messiah.” The followers were fearful of the imminent assault and confused about what would happen to them. They had so many unanswered questions.
After they had shared the bread and the wine as a commemoration of their time together, they waited to learn their last lesson. Jesus then told them what would happen next: he would send a Helper:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:15 – 17)
A Helper? Someone that the world cannot see or know? They remained confused so Jesus explained further:
“The word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:24 – 26)
Now, they began to understand. Jesus would bestow on them the Holy Spirit—their Helper—who would give them the words of truth and recall for them all that Jesus had proclaimed. Then Jesus told them the ultimate purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
“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)
The Holy Spirit will help us to bear witness to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is our Helper in this world; is the Counselor who will guide us; is the Advocate who supports us; and is the Voice of Truth who teaches us. And is also our Comforter for Jesus tells us not to be saddened by his death because only in death will the Holy Spirit come:
“Because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:6 – 7)
The disciples understand that they will not be left alone in the world. The Holy Spirit will be their Helper; will be our Helper. Finally, Jesus Christ is ready to depart from the world as his passion now approaches. Jesus declares to the apostles:
“I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:32 – 33)
Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to be our personal Helper so that we may know and live the Word of God. Just as Jesus was not alone in the world for he had God with him, we are not alone in the world for we have the Holy Spirit. And we are no longer condemned to emptiness and yearning.
Come Holy Spirit. Together, we shall overcome.
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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