The Holy Spirit is our Comforter – 2 October 2020
By Ben Fourie
Although the idea of the Paraklete as advocate or intercessor is very important, He is also in another important role as Helper and Comforter. These two translations of the Word get their special meaning after Jesus was taken up to heaven and, therefore, not present among his followers any longer. In the interim, between his Ascension and Second Coming, the Church and every individual believer need the presence of the Holy Spirit. We need to be “schooled” by the Spirit to understand all the teachings of Jesus and enable us to carry His message into the world.
It is not always easy to be a follower and proclaimer and, therefore, we need the Comforter and Helper every single day of our lives. He makes it possible for us to keep telling the world about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in spite of our fears and shortcomings.
After the Ascension, the disciples were left behind. We sometimes see the Comforter as having to comfort them as one comforts someone at a funeral. Far from it. After they saw Jesus being taken up to heaven, they went back to Jerusalem. They met each day for prayers and to await the coming of the Holy Spirit who was to give them power for the big task awaiting them. One does not get the idea of a group of mourners, but rather a group of people ready to face what was coming. The Comforter in this sense, is the one who was to create a safe environment from where the disciples could move into the world with the message of Jesus.
Their confidence was further boosted from knowing that the Holy Spirit would also be their Helper. When we read the book of Acts, we see the Spirit in his role as Helper. The story of the planting of the Church in spite of all opposition and even risk of life, is the story of the Helper who came from the Father and the Son.
It is still valid for you and me today. The Spirit of God is still with us. He keeps us in his comforting protection and helps us to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a sometimes hostile world.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to be a courageous follower. Amen