We continue in our homes with lockdown 4.0 with the nation’s leaders trying to kick start the economy. The question is of lives and livelihood. On one side we see lives being lost because of this pandemic, while on the other we see livelihoods being lost as migrant workers desperately want to go home as they have run out of all their resources and have begun to starve.
Thousands of migrant workers are seen on the road with little children trying to trek 1500 to 2000 km by walk and many have lost their lives in the process. It is a tragic scene to see when children as young as 5 or 6 years old who are taking this journey. Sometimes, we see women who are pregnant and in their last months or even toddlers being carried on their hips.
What do we do under such circumstances? We seem to be helpless as we see this migration happening all around us. No one seems to be taking up their cause seriously. God’s heart must be grieving seeing the plight and misery of the migrants. It is in this kind of a context that the Holy Spirit of God helps us. Our theme for this morning’s meditation is ‘The Promise of the Holy Spirit’ and we will be working through John 14:15-21.
Jesus promises that he will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit upon his people. The Father will send the Holy Spirit in Christ’s name and the Holy Spirit will be given by the Father at the Son’s request.
This morning we will look at a few aspects of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word used is “Paraclete” - the word meaning ‘Legal Assistant’ or ‘Advocate’. So, the first thing we see about the Holy Spirit is that he is an ‘Advocate’. Advocates plead the cause of their client before the judges. Similarly, Holy Spirit pleads our cause before God.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit is also a helper or a comforter. He always helps us in our time of need, whether its an emergency or otherwise, he is always there. In times like this when we don’t know what to do, he is the helper. He is the one who comforts us in our sorrow. He is the one who gives peace in our difficult situation. So, as we face this pandemic, we can take comfort in knowing that the Holy Spirit will help us and comfort us and also plead humanity’s cause before God.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit is also our intercessor and our mediator. Paul writing to the Romans says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans (Romans 8:26).” So, when we feel weak and vulnerable the Holy Spirit sustains us. He is the one who is interceding for us. When we see the plight of migrant laborers, we can ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for them.
Fourthly, the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of truth. The Spirit of truth will lead the disciples into all truth by reminding them about all that Jesus had said and done. Above all, it leads us into the truth of God. Only through Jesus can we understand who God is. The character of God is the same as the character of Jesus. And so, the Holy Spirit removes the veils of our hearts and eyes to see Jesus as God in human flesh.
Jesus also reminds the disciples that the ‘World’ in contrast to the believer will neither see him nor know him. Knowledge and experience of the Holy Spirit will not be available for those who do not know Jesus. They will reject the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of truth, truth is important for the followers of Christ. We live in a world of deceit, lies and falsehood. It is in this context that God calls us to be the followers of truth.
The Holy Spirit was promised by Jesus and was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. The Spirit continues to be available to every believer, when we receive Christ.
Finally, we see that Jesus reminds his disciples that true love for him is marked by obedience to his commands. We know all the commands but God expects us to be obedient to them. Obedience is a mark of true love.
May God sustain us during this period of lockdown through the empowering presence of Holy Spirit who resides with us forever. May we be comforted in knowing that the Holy Spirit pleads our cause before God and comforts us. May we always walk in the ways of truth through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
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