“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you …” John 14:15-16
The main command Jesus has in mind here is “Love one another” (John 13:34). We also realize part of keeping commands means that we hold on to a command even when we have recently broken it. It means that we should try again. And again. Because of God’s forgiveness, we’re not lost forever when we fail. But we must also keep trying.
This is a very trying time in the U.S. with the COVID-19 Pandemic with escalating unemployment, businesses closed, isolation, quarantine, deaths, no school for kids for the rest of this school year. Anxiety, stress, despair, anger, marriage distress, abuse, etc. … All bad news!
The good news is that social distancing has allowed churches to find unique ways to share the Gospel via the internet; Zoom, YouTube, Facebook, etc. More people than ever before are connecting our websites and viewing our sermon videos to garner some spiritual help.
And it is here that Jesus uses something bad for good. We are finally the one body in Christ with this mission. We can focus on the mission more than buildings and styles. We pray more than ever before; for ourselves, our neighbors and our infected world. We have a common enemy. Yes, it’s the virus, but more so … sin!
When you see your neighbors ask how they’re doing, tell them you’re praying for them. When they ask how you’re doing tell them that you’re OK, thank God! Show a Jesus kind of love!
And, thankfully, Jesus provides us with the help we need. Jesus promised an advocate — an encourager. Someone who will put his arm around us when we need comfort, and someone who will spur us on when we need to try again and keep trying. The advocate is the Holy Spirit. Jesus sent him to live in us so that we will never be alone in trying to keep Jesus’ commands.
Dear Jesus, with your Spirit in me, help me to sense your grace over my failures and your power to help me obey. Amen.