"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,
to be with you forever."
Last Sunday morning, the web-conferencing platform Zoom experienced a worldwide technical outage. As leaders shifted toward other platforms, higher than normal volume also produced challenges. The result was that thousands of congregations, from around the world, were not able to gather as planned for worship, fellowship, and study.
Frustration and sadness were expressed widely over social media as we collectively lamented, anew, our ability to gather and connect with one another. As I moved frantically about our building, desperately searching for a solution, I found myself becoming increasingly anxious and discouraged. In time, however, I began to see the marvelous grace that was present amidst the challenges of the day.
In the Gospel lesson we were to have read in worship, John 14:15-21, Jesus says that he will ask the Father to send upon his disciples and Advocate, the Spirit of truth, to remain with them forever. Because of this, he says, these beloved disciples will not be left orphaned, abandoned and forsaken.
As followers of Jesus in the present day, these promises extend to us, disciples of the here and now. We have not been abandoned, forgotten, neglected or forsaken. Even when we feel isolated by the realities of our current circumstances, by the failing of technology that has allowed us to connect in ways previously unimagined, let us remember the One has not forgotten us, the One who will not abandon us, the One who remains steadfast with us.
The Spirit of truth, God’s abiding presence, our Advocate and Comforter,
remains with us, now and evermore.
Now, here’s to hoping Zoom is glitch-free this Sunday. I look forward to our joining in worship, study, and conversation with one another.
The Reverend Andrew J. Hege