Presence vs. absence
Reading: John 16:7-13
K-hymns: 248 (new 550)
Words: Advocate = the one who speak in favor of, a supporter or defender: an intercessor, lawyer;
Blanks: Advocate, righteousness, guide, hears
(1) When Jesus was calling his students to follow him, he knew that he was not going to stay with them very long.
Jesus would teach them briefly.
And then he would be gone.
(2) Very soon he would be crucified and be raised from the dead and then go to his Father.
Then he would prepare a place for them in heaven.
Then when everything is ready, he will be back.
(2) Then, what happened to these students of Jesus after he was gone?
The Holy Spirit came and guided them to love God and love people.
Then as they taught people, people understood what they were saying.
Then they experienced the presence of Jesus as well.
But then all these students of Jesus also died after many years.
Then because they were gone, new leaders emerged.
Then the Holy Spirit worked with these new leaders.
The Holy Spirit taught them to teach people worldwide.
But then when they were gone after many years, new leader emerged again.
Then they taught people.
In this way, the ministry of Jesus was continued.
(2) So when Jesus was with his students, he enjoyed his time with them, even though his ministry was getting over very soon.
In fact, Jesus said:
“I am leaving you.
And it is good for you that I am leaving.
Because then, you will bear much fruits.
Because then, you will do some great works.
“You have seen me how I was doing and what I was doing.
That is enough.
I will go and send the Holy Spirit to you.
The Holy Spirit will come and teach you all the truth.
The Holy Spirit will teach you the secret of my ministry.
Then you can do my ministry as well.
In fact, my ministry will expand dramatically with you.”
Then because Jesus was not with them, these people learned to move with the Holy Spirit.
Because Jesus was gone, they learned more about the Holy Spirit.
Because Jesus was gone, they depended on the leadings of the Holy Spirit.
Then they started to understand the words of Jesus.
Then they started to have new and everlasting relationship with Jesus.
Then because Jesus was gone, they lived in the hope of resurrection.
Then because Jesus was gone, they gathered together in a community of faith and love in memory of Jesus.
Now let’s think about our life.
Sometimes we visit people.
Sometimes, we get to live with them.
(3)But there are times when we have to say goodbye.
For example, sometimes, we may have to say goodbye to our parents.
Sometimes, our parents may have to say goodbye to us.
(3) Or grandchildren may have to say goodbye to their grandparents.
Grandparents may have to say goodbye to their grandchildren.
Or within 20 years, probably we may all say goodbye to this church and will live in another city, attending another church rather than here.
We will probably go somewhere else.
Or think about this situation.
Sometimes, it is good to visit someone in the name of Jesus.
It's good to call our grandparents. (parents or children)
It is good to get to know some elderly persons in our congregation.
It is good to say hello to them.
It is good to be kind to them.
It is good to visit those who are lonely.
It is good to call and check those who are sick.
(Maybe then they may get better even sooner.)
But then, sometimes, we can only visit them once in awhile.
Or sometimes, we can only visit them for a very short time.
Or sometimes, we can only talk with them on the phone for a very brief period of time.
Then, we may feel sorry that we cannot call them more often.
We may feel shame that we cannot visit them more often.
We may feel even guilt because we cannot take care of them.
And they may also feel sad because they cannot stay long with us.
(3) In those days, we may need to remember what Jesus said to his students as he was leaving.
"It is good for you that I am going.”
Jesus was not apologizing about his leaving.
Because the Holy Spirit is there.
The Holy Spirit will come and take care of the rest.
The Holy Spirit will come and take care of people in his absence.
So, he trusts the works of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, he said that his leaving will bear much fruits.
His absence will bear many fruits.
(1) So, we may also need to trust the works of Holy Spirit.
Instead of feeling sorry, we may pray for the works of the Holy Spirit.
We may trust that in our absence, the Holy Spirit can bring many fruits in their life.
We may trust that in their absence, the Holy Spirit can bring much fruit in our life.
Because we know when we are not there, the Holy Spirit is there.
Because we know when they are not here, the Holy Spirit is here with us.
(2) Jesus did not hesitate to start his ministry even though he would stay only for a short time with them.
Believing the works of the Holy Spirit in their lives, Jesus enjoyed his time with them.
Likewise, we may be able to enjoy our time with people.
Whether it is a short time or a long time, we may enjoy our time with people and be truly there with them.
In fact, that is why Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit.
Jesus expects a great result because of the Holy Spirit.
Because the Holy Spirit is with people, things will really start to happen.
The Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of Jesus will continually work with people: with them and with us.
This Holy Spirit will help us to get ready to meet Jesus.
The Holy Spirit will teach us God’s all truth.
The Holy Spirit will teach us what is most important.
The Holy Spirit will teach us to live according to the teachings of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit will remind us that we have something to do in this world.
The Holy Spirit will remind us what it is.
Then if we open our hearts to the Spirit of God, the Spirit of God will bring us to where God wants us to be and do what God wants us to do.
In this way, we learn of Jesus.
In this way, we learn the true meaning of who he is.
In this way, we learn to trust in Jesus.
In this way, we learn to be good to those who are around us.
In this way, we learn to live for God.
In this way, we learn to live like Jesus.
Let us pray:
Jesus, in your absence, the Holy Spirit taught us many things.
We discover that in your absence, we can bear much fruits because of the Holy Spirit.
But we also know that you are still with us and your Spirit is with us.
May we serve you well until we truly meet you face to face.
Because we pray this in Jesus name. Amen.