The Comforter

by DanWolgemuth on November 5, 2010

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” ~ John 16:7 (ESV)

Last evening Mary and I watched Graham, our one-year-old grandson. The final waking hour of Graham’s day was filled with books, bath, joy, laughter, romping, milk, songs, prayer and squeezes from Emmie and Pops.

As we approached the bedtime hour Graham would look for and locate his prized sleeping companion, his blanket. Once discovered Graham would bury his head in the soft material and his thumb would immediately be deposited in his mouth. He was ready.

This process certainly helps to make bedtime an easy and predictable routine. But it also poses some challenge and risk. What if the blanket is in the laundry, or it’s misplaced, or heaven forbid… lost!

I get the sense at times that the experience of the New Testament disciples was a bit like Graham. During their journey with Jesus they remain comfortable and confident as long as they had their blanket; Jesus, within reach. Whether it was mixing it up with the religious leaders of the day, a raucous storm, an outrageous and uncontrollable evil spirit, or a dinner party where the catering was forgotten… Jesus was the man, the solution, the comfort, the blanket.

Certainly this reality, as well as the obvious implications, were not lost on Jesus. At the tail end of His earthly ministry He made a promise that a comforter, the Comforter, would be delivered once His departure was accomplished. And in the second chapter of Acts, Jesus made good on His promise. The Holy Spirit.

If Jesus was “God with us,” then the Holy Spirit was and is “God in us.”

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” ~ Romans 8:9 (ESV)

The singular incarnation and accession of Jesus ushered in Pentecost, and with it, the power, comfort and presence of the Holy Spirit. The “blanket” is not just in Israel any more.

He’s in a three-bedroom home where Graham Wolgemuth lives.
He’s in a crowded urban neighborhood where families are shattered.
He’s present in an orphanage in Ethiopia.
He’s evident in Iran, in Afghanistan, in South Korea.
He’s at work in Nepal, in India, in Venezuela.
Anywhere and everywhere…

Drawing us to Jesus. Assuring, comforting, inspiring, motivating and empowering.

Jesus knew, and He promised. When He exited the boat, the hillside, the funeral procession, the temple, the cross and the empty tomb… He would not leave us as orphans. Our comfort would be with us. Always.

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