Day of Pentecost
When someone we love goes away, we take comfort in reminders: a favorite hat, a letter, a wedding ring.
Human beings can be reminders too, through the magic of family resemblance. Though my father is long gone, he can be present when I see my cousin Ed doing something just the way Dad would have done it. Sometimes being reminded takes my breath away.
In our Gospel story today, Jesus tells his disciples that he is going away. But he promises that he will send his disciples a reminder. The Holy Spirit “will . . . remind you of all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit reminds us, reshaping our minds so we can see Christ present with us.
Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If we love Jesus, we have to try to be like Jesus. And to be like Jesus, we need the Holy Spirit to remind us what he looks like. The Holy Spirit will “teach us everything,” and remind us of what Jesus has said.
Jesus tells his disciples that if they love Jesus, he and the Father will come to them, and make their home with them. We hear echoes in the Revelation (3:20): “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” The Holy Spirit, eager to remind us of Christ, stands at the door and knocks. Whenever we act in love toward one another, we open the door, and in walks Jesus.
It’s the magic of family resemblance. When you see your brother or sister in Christ doing something just the way Jesus would have done it, doesn’t being re-minded take your breath away?
Ginny Hege Tobiassen, pastor, Home Moravian Church
Winston-Salem, North Carolina