‘I have told you this while I am still with you. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.
‘Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried or upset; do not be afraid.’ (verses 25-27)
Read John 14:8-17, 25-27
Are you having a birthday party today? No, I don’t mean for your birthday—unless, of course, today is your birthday. I mean a party in celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit, in celebration of Pentecost, the church’s birthday. Today the church is approximately  years old.
And because a small group of ordinary people received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and three thousand people were baptised on that first Pentecost day, and those people shared the good news with their friends, we celebrate the day again today.
In this reading Jesus shows us the benefits of being part of the church. Through the Son we have access to the Father. Because of what Jesus did the day after he discussed these things with his disciples, we have peace—real peace, not just the absence of hostility, which is all human peace tends to be. It is peace that comes only through forgiveness and reconciliation.
And we have the Holy Spirit. The Spirit points us to Jesus and his teachings, gives us faith to believe in Jesus and to claim his promises, and helps us understand, confess and proclaim the good news of the grace of God.
Have a good party.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I thank you for all you did for me, and for the whole church, on that first Pentecost. Amen.
by Robert Turnbull, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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