Light shines through an open door in Trinity Church and prayer candles burn beneath a stained-glasses window

Five Ways Into Sunday’s Scripture: We Are Not In This Alone

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 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.

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

John 14:15–21

In this passage, Jesus knows that when he is no longer physically present to the disciples, they will feel great desolation. And, so, he promises to send the Holy Spirit to be with them always — to accompany them, to teach them, to encourage them after he is gone. In this way, Jesus is still alive after his death. This is the Spirit of Truth, who reveals the truth of God’s presence in us.

Do you believe there is a divine spark in you? That the Spirit of Truth dwells in you? That the spirit is alive in you and is expressed in your works of love and compassion for others?

In our rapidly changing world, we can, at times, feel a sense of abandonment or loss, especially as we experience the limits of our agency. But we are not in this alone; the Holy Spirit continues to guide and inspire us as agents of the Good News of divine love, each in our own contexts.

So, do not worry: our daily work is to be open to the living, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit loving and working in us, now and until Christ’s return. “Because I live, you also will live,” Jesus said.  

May our lives in Christ be known by our readiness to receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts and extend the Spirit to a world in need.

—Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones

This article from Mindful Christianity considers Paul’s directive to pray without ceasing as the ability to connect to the abiding presence of God in our hearts at all times.

In the coming week, find a quiet place to pray with this Gospel text aloud. What feelings arise for you? Comfort? Hope? A sense of accompaniment? Do you notice a part of you that resists protection, advocacy, or guidance such as Jesus promises now? What do you make of that impulse? What can you learn from it?

Poet laureate Joy Harjo writes: “Welcome your spirit back from its wandering. It may return in pieces, in tatters. Gather them together. They will be happy to be found after being lost for so long.”

“Veni Sancte Spiritus” (“Come Holy Spirit,” Taizé chant).

A Hasidic prayer practice for intimacy with God.


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Coming Soon

This Sunday at 10am, join Discovery for Joy in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians with Summerlee Staten, Executive Director of Faith Formation & Education.