Saturday, May 14, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Feast of Pentecost – Come Holy Spirit Set Us Free
(50th Day after Easter)

St. John 16:6-16

Rev. Christopher Phil Daniel
Youth Chaplain - Midwest Region
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
Chapter 16 of St. John’s Gospel opens with Jesus’ words to His disciples concerning the fundamental need of the Holy Spirit. Jesus indicates to the disciples that there were certain things He did not say to them from the beginning. He did not tell them of the hostility of the world; He did not tell them about the tremendous opposition and persecution they would face; nor did He tell them how to face such challenges. And He says why: “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you” (v. 4). Here Jesus points to our need as human beings to be sustained, supported, and strengthened. Since He was there with the disciples, they had no need to know about all these things.
Jesus reveals to us our basic need to be sustained, supported, and strengthened. Scripture teaches us that we are basically born to be dependent on something or someone else and that we are not able to handle life by ourselves. We may believe that we are independent beings who are self-sufficient and capable of running our own lives, making our own decisions, and handling everything alone; however, the truth is that we exist only because of the sustenance, support, and strength that is provided by the Lord.
We also observe in this passage that Jesus speaks about returning to “one who sent” Him. And now, as He leaves, the disciples are not concerned with what He has told them but with themselves. Jesus realizes that the disciples are sorrowful and may be feeling helpless. Again, this state of mind indicates the need for a sustainer, supporter, and one who strengthens. Jesus even proclaims that it is to the advantage of the disciples that He depart so that the Holy Spirit or the Advocate would come upon them. We may think that not having the physical presence of Jesus is of no benefit to us, but Jesus reassures us that the Holy Spirit will definitely provide what is needed in our lives as both the children of God and as witnesses of Jesus Christ.
When we read through the Gospels, we are able to observe that when Jesus was teaching or preaching, His disciples often were puzzled and perplexed by what Jesus had spoken. They were full of questions and even disputed among themselves. But we discover that after the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came, when they gathered together and heard the words of the Lord, they went away tremendously strengthened and encouraged, ready to face life with radiant faces and joy in their hearts. This is what the Holy Spirit does. By means of the Spirit, we have full access to Jesus. We have been given the freedom to experience the power of Christ without any limitations or boundaries. This should not only encourage us but should also empower us to serve Christ faithfully every moment of our lives.
Let us be receptive to the Holy Spirit’s empowerment and continue faithfully with the mission and ministry that has been entrusted to us.

PRAYER


Loving God, we thank You and praise You for sending us Your Spirit which continues to sustain, support, and strengthen us. Enable us, O Lord, to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-led people who strive daily for the furtherance of Your Kingdom, for Your glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
The Holy Spirit has been given to us to enrich our lives and to ensure that we are strengthened to continue proclaiming of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.