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God Walked, Love Talked

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I shall ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever
Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Psalms 66:1-7,16,20; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21

Sermon Week Sixth Sunday of Easter Cycle A

Scripture Summary John 14:16

For Christians, it has often been said that our problem is not that Christianity has failed. Our problem is it hasn't been tried yet. "If you love me you will keep my commandments," Jesus reminds us. And yet, as we learn from today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus does not expect us to keep the commandments and be obedient to Him on our own. No! He gives us the power to do it.

Sometimes I feel discouraged,
and think my work in vain.
But then the Holy Spirit
revives my soul again.

Those lines, from an old "spiritual," speak to our condition. There are times when we can't do it on our own -- when we need to be revived, restored, renewed, replenished, recreated. We can be deeply moved when we hear the early Christians saying that it is the Holy Spirit who does this reviving. Many of us may have friends today who talk about how their lives began to change when they opened themselves up to the gift of the Holy Spirit. And many of us may find ourselves wondering, "What is this gift of the Holy Spirit? What can the Holy Spirit do for me? Is it possible that my soul can be revived and recreated?"

For some answers to these questions, it is helpful to recall the baptism of Jesus. It was during Jesus' baptismal experience that He received the gift of the Holy Spirit. This was the gift that empowered Him for the ministry He was about to begin. Yet it came to Him so gently and peacefully that, from that moment, the symbol to describe the coming of the Holy Spirit to Jesus was a dove -- one of the gentlest of all birds. As for the disciples, they did not receive the Holy Spirit until after Jesus' Resurrection.

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus gives the disciples the promise of this great gift to come. It is the last night of Jesus' life and He is with the disciples in the "upper room." He is preparing them for His departure. He is preparing them for what [...]

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