Yesterday we listened in on Jesus’ extended goodbye to his disciples. This time the conversation turns away from the future plan “going to prepare a place for you” to their present situation: Jesus is leaving and they are in panic mode. His reassurance is hard to hold onto because Jesus starts talking about The Advocate, the Spirit, about how God is in Jesus and Jesus is in them. He talks about Commandments, and love and God’s love and his love. Frankly, it would have been easy to stop listening and it’s not the kind of reassurance that these guys were looking for. Like you and me, The Holy Spirit can seem like less than what we are hoping for, too ethereal, too wispy, too ill defined.
But things shift in the conversation and Jesus tries to explain THEY ARE the embodiment of the Spirit. That they can be the Spirit to others, that they have the divine within them and they have no reason to panic. He goes on to tell them he expects them to do great things with the strength of this Spirit. Of course, Jesus isn’t just talking to just them, he’s talking to you and me. We are the Spirit. We can advocate for others. We can walk alongside others shoulder to shoulder on their own roads to Emmaus.
We have Christ within us, and the Spirit alongside us. We are being called out of our fears and into the lives of others to assure them of God’s love and compassion, forgiveness and mercy, tenderness and understanding.
Someone in your life needs you to advocate for them. Be present, listening without judgment, perhaps pulling them out of darkness and into their better selves. Christ has entrusted this great power to us: to advocate, to heal, to love, to forgive. This is went to the cross and walked out of the tomb. So that we might live life and help others live theirs.