05.25.2014. We Serve a Mighty God! By Reverend Andrew C. Smith, Jr.

Good morning family,

Have you ever felt that worried and stressed out? Have you ever felt defeated by life?

Have you ever felt that you were against what seems to be impossible odds? Have you ever felt depressed, downhearted, hopeless and helpless, and overpowered by life? What do you do when life bullies us into a corner? What do you do when your back is against the wall? Where do you turn when trouble traps you?

Well, there is good news. We serve a mighty God! We serve the one who has triumphed over the cross and the grave; the one who stands eternal before the throne of our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, who says to us as he did to the disciples, "I will not leave you as orphans." I will not leave you alone. I will not abandon you.

I will not leave you. I will not abandon you. I will send you a counselor, an advocate, a comforter, a friend who will care for you, who will offer you hope when there is none to be found, help when you are helpless, comfort when you can find none, and life in the face of death. The Holy Spirit is God's gift to us in our baptism. The Holy Spirit is God's presence in life. The Holy Spirit is Christ's gift to us and the promise to all the faithful.
In our scripture, Jesus says in effect, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments -- keeping my commandments will be the sign of your love for me." The result of keeping his commandments is rather amazing. Translating his words into terms we can get hold of, Jesus says, "When you keep my commandments, you will receive help, and hope and intimacy with God!"

As Jesus has been their comforter, helper, guide, intercessor and advocate in the three years of their relationship with him, upon his departure they will have another, one sent from the Father. This advocate, who will continue Jesus' presence among them and work with them forever, Jesus calls "the spirit of truth." The three times Jesus speaks of this coming one, he identifies the advocate as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God who proceeds from the Father at Jesus' request, who in fact will not come until Jesus returns to the Father.

We serve a mighty God who can heal the broken heart. He can fill the emptiness of loss. He can comfort the lonely and strengthen the weak. Sometimes we feel overmatched by life. But we have a Father who loves us. We have a Savior who triumphed over death. We have the Holy Spirit, God's presence, to bring faith to life.

Christ’s peace,
Fr. Drew