Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 17, 2020
Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Something to Do
Look for the helpers
Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as an Advocate, someone who stands up to provide care and justice for another. We are living in an age full of advocates, each of whom reveal the Holy Spirit to us. Take a note from Mr. Rogers and really notice them this week. Make a list of them. Then use the list:
- write a poem
- make some art
- say a prayer
- send thank you notes.
Be an advocate
Our world needs advocates. Even from your living room, you can speak up on behalf of those who need you to add your voice to theirs. Write a letter or make a phone call to decision-makers, to the newspaper, and to your friends to talk about ways to draw our world closer to God’s will – a world of justice, peace, and compassion for all humans and all creation.
One local resource for one important issue which you might want to take a look at is Housing Emergency Ottawa.
Something to Wonder
I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Repeat this sentence a few times. Try to picture it – like a set of Russian dolls except, somehow, the biggest doll both holds and fits inside the smallest doll.
What does it mean for you to be in Jesus?
What does it mean for Jesus to be in you?
Which of these ideas makes the most sense for you? Or feels the most true? How might really embracing them impact the way you live?
…because I live, you also will live
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
In Christ’s resurrection, we have life. Some folks might find this promise harder to trust in the context of social isolation. Some might find it easier. Where do you find yourself along that spectrum?
What has made you feel alive in the last few days? Why? Are there ways you can build on that feeling?
Something to Learn
The Greek word Jesus uses to describe the Holy Spirit (translated in our version as “advocate”) is paraclete. This is a very interesting and complicated and significant word and here are two attempts to unpack it.
The Holy Spirit as Paraclete by Alex Rowe – a short article on medium.com
“Though to describe the Holy Spirit as “Paraclete” may sound rather abstract, difficult to comprehend, it is perhaps the most personal of all depictions.”
Paraclete by Barry Cooper, in both audio and transcript form
“There’s an important Greek word in the New Testament that is similarly tricky to translate. The word is paraclete, and it’s used by Jesus both as a name for the Holy Spirit and also for Himself.”
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.