Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bible Study: John 14:15-21 Gaze of Grace

I may not have a weekly pulpit but I can still study the lectionary and offer comment.  So I'm reading the gospel lectionary for this Sunday about Jesus speaking to his disciples of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit who will be another piece of the trinitarian support system.  Jesus makes it clear that people who are not looking for the Advocate will not see him.

This begs the question, "Who truly does see the Spirit in the world?"  Rev. Harold Camping, the fundamentalist preacher who misjudged the rapture date last week was clearly wrong.  Most people would agree that Rev. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas is wrong about his crusade to spew hate onto military families and people who are gay.  Why can people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ look at the same Bible and same world and come to such different conclusions about how the Spirit of God is present?  Have you ever been wrong about such spiritual matters?

Jesus tells his disciples that "the world cannot receive (the Advocate) because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him because he abides with you, and he will be in you."  (v. 17)

It would appear that in order to receive the Holy Spirit Jesus is saying that it is more than seeing or knowing.  It is about abiding.  The Christian life is more than an occasional glimpse of God.  It is about a relationship that is based on abiding with the Advocate...dwelling....hanging out with God.  To be a Christ Follower is much more than belief in a church's doctrines.  It is about nurturing our desire to be with God and keep Love's commandments.  It is about taking that occasional glimpse of grace and asking the Spirit to transform it into a gaze of grace.

May we all see God more clearly, love God more dearly, follow God more nearly, love God more nearly...day by day.  And may we always include how as a Church we can extend this invitation to others who may not be catching even a glimpse of Love in their world.

Grace Always,

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