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Good news a helper to comfort and stand alongside

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In John 14:16-17 Jesus promised another Helper, a Paraclete. The word Paraclete means a helper in court, a legal advocate who stands up in court and pleads our case before a judge, a comforter, an adviser-helper. This helper is also the Spirit of Truth. He communicates truth. He will reveal the truth about all our sins but also the truth about the penalty which has already been paid by Christ. He is not the spirit of lies and our world is filled with lies. The world cannot accept the truth. The world does not see the truth nor know it. It takes the help of the Holy Spirit living with us and in us to see and know the truth, to face our sins and to acknowledge that we have no other hope of justification before God than Jesus.

Every one of us will become an orphan, unless we die before our parents. I remember fondly the daily conversations with my mother after school. In later years my father and I delighted in lengthy conversations about life. His wisdom was always gentle but firm in the grace that he had taken a lifetime to learn. He had grown to become very much like my grandmother, emphasizing not being critical of others, but realizing that we all make mistakes and are obligated to show others grace. Many of us can relate to the hole that the absence of such conversations leaves. When Jesus left for heaven, his disciples felt abandoned. Yet he said that he would not leave his disciples orphaned (John 14:18). He will return. Therein also lies the best hope of seeing our dearly departed ones again.

A soldier in Afghanistan stands guard as a little girl plays with a rock in her hand, or is it a grenade? She gets ready to throw it at a passing Humvee. A split second decision has to be made. Do I lose another group of soldiers to a grenade attack or am I shooting a little girl playing with a rock? The moral dilemma affects all sides making people feel abandoned by the world. The loss of innocence, of youth, a parent, a child, a job, or a marriage make us feel abandoned. In John 14:18 Jesus promises not to abandon his disciples like orphans, but send the Comforter. What have we lost? Is the Holy Spirit teaching us how we should act? Ought we come alongside one another without judgment, giving words of comfort, help and healing?

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