Friday, December 2, 2011

Testifying to the Truth

Jesus said to his disciples, imminently before he was betrayed, scorned, and ultimately crucified:

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.”

~John 15:26-27 (NRSV)

The Advocate, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit—and variously also, the Counsellor—informs us of truth as if Jesus, himself, and the Father were speaking directly to us—because they are. So is the will of God.

Truth Matters

The truth is critical in a vociferously fallen world.

And the world will hate us for it, especially when the Advocate compels us most certainly in truth; by matters, methods, and ideas of the world’s derision—and many are those.

That is Jesus’ warning in this part of John’s gospel. The truth may set us free, but it will bond us to God against the world—that is the unfortunate, though critical, destiny of the Christian being.

These are most important words that Jesus is sharing; we might share the most vital of messages from our deathbed. Jesus knew where he was going, and where he was going the disciples could not come.

Truth matters so much in life; it is the thread carrying us from the cradle to the grave; our legacy—a resounding echo—into eternity.

The Role of Remembrance

Though the truth is to bond to us, by the presence of the Advocate, we necessarily remember that, due Jesus’ words, life is a task of remembrance—for we too often forget. Grace remembers our frailties.

Though we were not present at beginning of this message, as the disciples were, we are present as we read our Bibles—Jesus alive and breathing life into us via the inspired Word, and the Presence of the Advocate. Reading and rereading the gospels we gain new and recurrent glimpses of Jesus’ life and legacy.

And we remember. We enjoy the Lord’s Supper for this reason: to remember and never forget.

Remembering Jesus’ blood-spilt and body-broken sacrifice we remember the cost of truth; the truth may set us free, but it will also, at times, break us. This is a sobering reality; one that all Christians need cognisance of in advance.

The Advocate conveys the Spirit of truth; the Father’s will.

Ours is to remember the nature of faith, in accord with that truth. It takes courage to obey the truth in a world that loathes it. Ours is to carry forth, in wisdom, the truth the Advocate wishes us to convey.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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