April 14, 2021
by: Susan Lovelady

(Jesus speaking to his disciples) “But now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”  John 16:5-7
A friend from my grow group commented that part of her Lenten journey was the appreciation of the “physical” presence of Jesus in scripture – walking along side the disciples as we dive into the Word, reflecting on the weeks and days before the Crucifixion with our “in-person” Jesus.  And although Easter comes with the wonderful celebration of the resurrection and new life, it also presents an abrupt loss of this bodily existence as we transition into receiving a different form of Jesus’ presence, when we are given the Advocate.  In some bible translations, it is referred to as the Comforter, or the Friend.  We also know this as the Holy Spirit.  I wonder what the disciples felt about all of this.  It must have been a little strange and hard (their humanness was apparent as they were filled with grief.)
Change.  It can be hard and different.  And often it involves the loss of the familiar and trusting in something “new”. We know all too well what losses have looked like this past year with the challenges of COVID, and the huge changes we have been through. And now we approach another transition as we (thankfully) move back into more “in-person” gatherings and into a “new normal”.   But just as changes can be hard, many times they can be for your good.  And in the case with Jesus, he doesn’t leave his disciples – or us – without his continued presence.  He sent the Advocate, the Comforter, the power of the Holy Spirit to help decipher everything around us and guide us as we maneuver through this life journey of ours.
As Jesus continues to speak to his disciples he goes on to say in verse 13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” And earlier in chapter 14, John speaks to this again with Jesus saying, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.”  John 14:16-17
Praise God that Jesus continues to be with us through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.  And that we can be guided into all the truth and given this wonderful Friend to help us through the many changes and transitions in life, and who will be with us forever.

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