|The Holy Spirit, Paraclete, Advocate|
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding:
Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary:
First Reading: Acts 17:22-31
Psalm: Psalm 66:8-20
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22
Gospel: John 14:15-21
Jesus said to his disciples, "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.Lectionary Reflections:
"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."
Ekklesia Project: A Glory that Breathes Life.
...this week’s gospel text underscores the work of the Spirit in our lives with God and one another. Instead of lurking quietly behind the scenes, the Spirit is foregrounded as a gift to the disciples, a way for Jesus’ presence to be with them always. Jesus draws our attention to what is our breathing as the church, the person who makes possible our lives together.
May we as the church know the Holy Spirit as that glory that breathes life into us, with gratitude and adoration. May we have the courage to let the Spirit of God move in and through us in communion together and empowerment for the work of the kingdom, making us ever more a faithful Christian witness of the gospel in the world. And may we let the Spirit in, worship with wonder and awe, and sink to the ground, full prostration. Amen.The Brazos Blog: Lectionary Reflections on 1 Peter 3:13-22 by Douglas Harink.
Such a free and revolutionary life as lived by the followers of Christ will surely provoke a host of questions from those who observe it, from those whose hopes, expectations, and habits of thought and practice have been withered and misshapen by the powers of this age: How can a person reasonably follow Christ?
How can anyone live such a “subordinate” life?
How can it be good, especially if it brings suffering?
How can you think that justice is being done in the world by it?
How can you turn the other cheek, walk another mile, give your shirt as well as your coat?
How can you not desire to wield the power that the rulers and masters do, so that at least you can do the good and the justice that they are not doing?
How can families, societies, nations, and empires be expected to live in such an anarchic manner?
Would that not be the end of the world as we know it?