Preparing for the Coming of the Spirit – The Paraclete
(Paraclete: the One who comes alongside)
Over Easter we have reflected on ‘People of the Story’, people caught up in experiencing the Risen Lord Jesus. And over the last few weeks running up to Pentecost we have then turned to ‘Prepare for the Coming of the Spirit’. We have been thinking about what the Spirit of Jesus did in the lives of those early Christians, and does now in the ongoing work of God on earth – hearing the Good Shepherd’s voice; following Jesus the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and next week being the One who binds us together in Unity at his people. However, at the centre of what God did then and does now is the Holy Spirit himself.
Jesus introduces Him to his disciples in our Gospel for today: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit”  You will have heard here at Ascension of many things the Holy Spirit does, revealing God to us, leading us into truth, working miracles and healings, teaching us to pray, bringing many good gifts, working in creation and creatively in our world. But all this will be just things you have heard of unless you let the Holy Spirit come alongside you – that is what the word Paraclete Jesus used for the Holy Spirit means. Indeed it means not just comes alongside, but called alongside. Over the next few weeks, will you call out in faith to Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, for the Holy Spirit to come alongside you?!
 John 14.16-17