5But now I am going back to the Father who sent me, and none of you asks me where I am going. 6You are very sad from hearing all of this. 7But I tell you I am going to do what is best for you. This is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.
8The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God's justice and the judgment. 9The Spirit will show them that they are wrong about sin, because they didn't have faith in me. 10They are wrong about God's justice, because I am going to the Father, and you won't see me again. 11And they are wrong about the judgment, because God has already judged the ruler of this world.
12I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand. 13 The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn't speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen. 14The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.
Sorrow Will Turn into Joy
16Jesus told his disciples, “For a little while you won't see me, but after a while you will see me.”
A few years ago, my husband and I rafted and camped with a small group down the stunning Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories, escorted by three experienced river guides. Canada’s version of the Grand Canyon, this incredible National Park boasts an ancient river that meanders for 150km beside painted canyon walls, towering rock cliffs, karst caves, plateaus, forest, and meadows. We paddled past gushing creeks, rock slides, hot springs, river braids, and waterfalls – one of them twice the height of Niagara Falls. Unforgettable.
Our guides were well trained as naturalists, geologists, medics, engineers, botanists, navigators, firemen and cooks. They knew the river and its dangers – where to avoid the eddies, where to stop for photos. They knew what berries made tea, or made you sick. They knew how to cope with bears, rain, wind and unexpected dunkings in the icy water. We trusted them to know the route, to keep us safe, and reveal every treasure on our spectacular journey. Twelve days on the Nahanni River made the best holiday of my life.
But we couldn’t have done it without our guides.
In this passage, Jesus comforts the disciples as he tells them he is leaving. He promises the Holy Spirit will take his place among them. How wonderful that this promise is for us today, too. The Holy Spirit sticks close to us. He knows the truth of God and reveals his truth to us, every step of the way. He directs, protects, teaches, and delights us with wonders we could never imagine. He is our Guide Extraordinaire.
Spiritual things can confuse us – sin, justice, judgment, the enemy. But we don’t have to sort it out. The Holy Spirit untangles it for us and reveals what we need to know, when we need to know it. Life can be a spectacular journey. Trust your Guide, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter sent from God.
Holy Spirit, guide me into truth today. Open my ears. Help me follow the truth. Amen.