See me, see God 052514 - with thanks to David Lose on the web!!
We’re still in that conversation between Jesus and his disciples as he’s getting ready to die and wants to prepare them and promise them the Presence. He knows they, and others who come later, like us, will eventually be called to follow a Jesus they’ve never seen, to have faith in a long-dead departed Jesus.
Well who’s going to do that? In John’s gospel, and in my life, faith, like being in love, is a relationship with a living being that we can see and touch and feel. We need to be able to relate to the living Jesus, not absent but present.
John’s message is that Life has the last word, not death, and in today’s reading we find that it’s the Spirit that makes this Presence, of Jesus and of God, a living Presence. John calls this Spirit parakletos. An Advocate. Not just one who advocates with God on our behalf, but the reverse! This is one who advocates for God in our lives, the one who stands alongside us bringing us the truth of divine Love and Presence.
But have you ever seen the Spirit? Of course not, we only have clues about what it’s like (freeflowing breeze, or wind and flames). But it’s like falling in love, you can’t be in love with someone you can’t see—except in movies and fiction -- you need an encounter with someone to bring love. So how on earth can we be aware of, or even love, the unseen Spirit?
This text gives us a couple of clues: the Spirit acts like an advocate, and acts like Jesus —for John suggests Jesus was also a parakletos.
So, when I see someone who acts like an advocate …..someone who stands up for someone else I see the Spirit.
….a companion alongside in difficult times I see the Spirit.
….someone who loves and keeps God’s commandments I see the Spirit.
….someone who ‘brings God’s love to all the world’ as our mission statement says…..
I see the Spirit.
Now this is where it gets more challenging…because this means the Spirit looks a lot like you and me and the church. So we CAN see the Spirit.
Now for a bit of interaction: where have you seen the Spirit this week?
Now more difficult: (mirror) where has someone seen the Spirit in you?
Where have you acted like Jesus, taken God’s love out and about, advocated for someone or some cause?
This week, I invite you to watch for the Spirit, keep your eyes and ears and heart open….let me know what you see, what you do, and what happens to you, or post it on our facebook page! So we can share this lively Spirit among us, within us and way beyond us. Amen