Summary: Pentecost Sunday, Year B 2012

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The Things That Are To Come / John 16: 4b – 15

Intro: Sharon and Joan had been best friends ever since Sharon moved in next door with her husband and three kids. Joan baked a cake and took it next door to her new neighbors. That was 20 years ago. Their kids had grown up together. The 2 families had gone to the same church, belonged to the same PTA, and shared baby-sitting responsibilities and countless other “favors” through the years. Now, the children had all married and moved away. It had been two years since Joan lost her husband. Since then she talked about moving closer to her children; but, Sharon didn’t believe Joan would actually do it until one afternoon when she pulled into her driveway after shopping for groceries and saw the for sale sign on Joan’s lawn. While the house was on the market, Sharon helped Joan with the packing. The two even had a garage sale together. It wasn’t long until Joan and Sharon shared a final tearful hug and waved goodbye to each other. Sharon found it almost unbearable to even think about someone else living in Joan’s house. After the new neighbors moved in, Sharon remembered the kindness of a new neighbor and the many experiences and wisdom she and Joan that started so long ago with a cake. So, Sharon baked a cake, took it next door with a warm smile and rang the bell just as Joan had done so many years ago.

I. One of the losses we humans feel most keenly is that of human companionship. When a person we have been close to leaves “for good,” we experience grief and sorrow.

A. VSS. 4 – 6 Jesus affirms the fact that his disciples do not want him to go away because they have come to rely on him for guidance

B. In this farewell discourse, we see Jesus dealing with the disciples’ love and sorrow at his impending departure. It is time for him to leave them physically. He comforts them with the thought that he will be with them spiritually through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

C. This experience is similar to that of Sharon and Joan. Though Joan had gone, Sharon remembered her kindness and sought to repeat what had been meaningful to her.

II. VS. 7 “But I tell you the truth; it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I so away, the Counselor will not come to you; . . “

A. In essence, Jesus posted a “for sale sign” trying to reassure his friends that the “new neighbor” would be just as good a friend. Jesus would be with them as long as they lived as he lived, taught what he taught and ministered as he had ministered.

B. John’s gospel is the only place in the NT to employ the name parakletos which can be translated as counselor, advocate or comforter. The literal translation is “one called alongside.”

C. This “SPIRIT” overcomes the distant past by making the historical Jesus present and overcomes the distant future by making the not yet of Jesus’ return already present.

III. Today is Pentecost Sunday. It is the day when Christians mark the coming of the Spirit of god into our lives. God’s Spirit comes to us in our baptism, and remains with us as we grow in the knowledge and truth of the God who loves us.

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