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  • Writer's picturePastor Janet Blair

Pentecost: Hope for Tomorrow!

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. (Romans 8:24-25)

Paul writes in this reading for the Day of Pentecost that we hope not for what we see or what we know, but for what we don’t see. Otherwise, I suppose, we’re talking about knowledge, not hope. Living in hope always involves a bit of mystery, doesn’t it?

This is a troubled time in our world, in so many ways. War and conflicts, heartbreaking stories from around the world of hunger, of children suffering, climate changes crises, human rights violations, global health. Not to mention politics, and generalized anxiety and distress about the state of the nation and the world. Doesn’t sound very hopeful, does it?

And yet – the story of Pentecost tells us of God pouring the Holy Spirit into our hearts, the Spirit of hope. This Spirit carries the prayers of our weak human hearts to God. So we are not left alone to suffer the consequences of all the wrongs that we humans have wrought. We are accompanied, we are encouraged, and we are loved – with hope!

As Jesus promises, we have been gifted with an Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, who walks with us as a community of hope – as the Church. And as our Knox Presbyterian and Thanksgiving Lutheran community of faith morphs into its new identity – United by Grace Community Church! – we are really living out hope and grace in the process of becoming a new thing, which is yet a familiar thing.

In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is called the Paracletos (or Paraclete), a Greek word that means “one who is called to your side.” What a hopeful thing that we have this Companion, this Spirit of truth, grace, and love to walk with us as we keep going forward, learning and growing all the way. It really is too deep for words, as Paul says. We are the same, and yet we are new!

So we are patient and hopeful, grateful for the Spirit of Truth that is our Advocate. Blessed to be together, journeying in hope toward our future. Amen!

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