John 14:8-17, 25-27
As the Sunday when we celebrate Pentecost approaches, we may marvel at how the ways in which the "outpouring of the Holy Spirit" has been understood in various church groups over the centuries. There was a time when it became almost a "sign" that one was truly a Christian only when one could "speak in tongues." But the Apostle Paul warns the Corinthians: "If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." (13:1)
The key description of what it means to be a Christian has always been the presence and expressions of love, just as Jesus loves us, so we are to love one another. There is no room here for "superior" or "inferior" Christians based on who "has the Spirit" and who does not.
Gracious God, grant us the grace to love as we are loved in the Holy Spirit's promised presence within and with us. Every day is Pentecost Day! Amen.
John 14:8-17, 25-27 (NRSV)
8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."
9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father'?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.
12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.
17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
25 I have said these things to you while I am still with you.
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."