Today’s message is brought to us by John Davies.
John 14: 15-21
Our Gospel reading sees Jesus talking about his impending crucifixion, and he recognises how painful this will be for his disciples, and so he is trying to give them hope.
When Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as “another Helper” the disciples might not have fully understood what Jesus was saying. Whereas we know what will unfold over Easter and through to Pentecost, the disciples have yet to undergo that experience.
Possibly only then, when they were infilled with God’s power via the Holy Spirit would they have understood the nature of God, and only then can they be empowered and sustained to be the disciples that Jesus has chosen them to be.
In a world that sometimes doesn’t care or is openly hostile to that message, we have to live a life that reflects the love that God and Jesus have given us.
That is why we also need God’s power to be given to us through His Holy Spirit living in us, and why we need to pray for that to happen on a daily basis, to sustain us in a world where darkness still exists.
Jesus knew that and expressed it by saying that the world cannot receive the Spirit of truth because it neither sees nor recognises it.
The world that Jesus is talking about are those people who have chosen not to accept the factual truth about the Risen Messiah, nor to accept that God can play a part in their lives.
Easter is the story of hope triumphing over despair and defeat, and we can broadcast that to the world by re-pledging our commitment to Jesus.
The world must change, and accept God as the One, True God, and Jesus as its Saviour in the same way the disciples did, but without seeing Jesus in the physical sense. For that to happen they have to be convinced by believers like you and me that the Gospel message is true.
The First Letter of Peter, chapter 3: 13-22 (our other reading for today) tells us that we have a part to play in that by keeping our faith alive, even in the face of their unbelief, even in the face of adversity.
So, I end with this prayer.
O God, by whose power Christ was raised from the dead, so that the worst men could do had no dominion over him, please place your healing hand on those who need this message most. We pray for all who dwell in despair and doubt, for all who suffer and grieve.
Give to all of us such a vision of Christ’s risen glory that we too may trust his power; that we too may know that nothing may separate us from your loving purposes or defeat your will.
So, may we rise from our distress and despair, and walk with Christ to whatever lies ahead, trusting in the presence of your Holy Spirit, our guide and Helper.
We ask this in the name of your living Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.