As per last week, what follows is a compilation of extracts from Roots and some of my own thoughts, I have been attempting since 2009 to help by leading worship at Nelmes, at the start I used a library of events that had occurred on my travels, meeting with Christian folk, recounting situations that had impacted on me. At the beginning it was nerve racking it still is in 2020, both myself & Barry have over this time taken quite a few services, I think we would both say it doesn’t get any easier. So when I thought about creating Blogs during lockdown I probably didn’t think it through thoroughly, I have found writing sermons harder as the years have passed, gone are my work related stories, people at Nelmes will know that over the last couple of years I have used articles from newspapers to help to craft my message. So this Blog may not be as long as previous ones, but I hope the message is still there. - Keith Finch
THE SPIRIT BESIDE US:
The Father loves you,
The Son loves you,
The Spirit loves you.
Come and show your love.
Spirit of truth, come close to us.
Unite us in the body of Christ.
Enable us to worship God in Spirit and in truth.
Help us to support and encourage each other.
Help us to love as we are loved.
Sprit of truth, come and abide in us. Amen
I will be using the reading from John 14: 15-21 for today’s blog, the other lectionary readings for Sunday 17th include, Acts 17: 22-31, Psalm 66: 8-20, 1 Peter 3: 13-22.
I spoke last week about my Garden, how I was managing during the current problems, even if Garden centers do open I intend to cope without bedding plants, to attempt to adapt using what I have & hopefully what I have grown from seed!
Gospel: John 14.15-21
The theme in this speech by Jesus spirals back round to the centrality of love (see 13.34). Loving Jesus becomes evident when we obey his commandments, the central one of which is to love as he has loved us. To help us in this, Jesus will ask the Father to give us another ‘Advocate’ who will be with us for ever, who is also called the Spirit. The Greek word translated ‘advocate’ literally means the one ‘called to your side’ and could equally be translated ‘intercessor’, ‘counsellor’ or ‘intermediary’ – and probably by a number of other words too. It is the word used in the Greek version of the Old Testament for the comforters who came to Job, so one could add a positive version of ‘comforter’ to the list. When Jerome was translating the New Testament into Latin, he felt that the term was intentionally broad and inclusive, so instead of choosing just one word and therefore one meaning, he simply turned the sounds of the Greek word into Latin, giving the term ‘Paraclete’. The Paraclete is the one who guides, counsels and consoles us, and speaks up on our behalf. Crucially, the Paraclete will never desert us in our hour of need. This speech then flows on naturally from discussing our relationship with the Paraclete to discussing our relationship with Jesus and with the Father. The kind of mutual indwelling that Jesus describes (e.g. ‘he abides with you and he will be in you’, and ‘I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you’) makes it clear that our relationship with the Paraclete is not something distinct from our relationship with Jesus and the Father, but is all bound up in that oneness with God that ensures we are not left orphans.
Sources: Roots 17th May 2020