Pentecost gospel

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

John has been the gospel for this Easter season. And it is the gospel reading for the Day of Pentecost, Whitsunday, the Solemnity of Pentecost. Traditionally it is the day when the church remembers the descend of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. It is a day to think, meditate, reflect on the work of the Holy Spirit.

I think the Holy Spirit is a very difficult topic. Our experience of the Holy Spirit is always so much more than any text could describe. And our experience is always very personal, very intimate.

So just one point from the above: “when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin … about sin, because they do not believe in me”. Sin is much more than an action – it is “not believing in Jesus”. Sin is a broken relationship. The actions follow the broken relationship. But stopping the actions does not fix the relationship. Only faith in Jesus will restore me to a living relationship with the Father. And the point is that the Holy Spirit grants us the gift of faith and there is nothing more needed.

Faith is the highest passion in a human being. There are perhaps many in every generation who do not even come to it, but nobody goes further.

Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy), 108.

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