These days I realize how important it is to meet people physically.
- I appreciate the actual social connection, not virtual connection.
- For ESM, in terms of activities, we haven’t changed much.
- We do all the Bible studies and worship services.
- But it is not the same.
- Our conversation becomes choppy.
- It is hard to get deeper in our reflection.
- It is all right to communicate information virtually but it is hard to be connected spiritually and enter into deeper understanding.
- I have realized that we survive and thrive in relationship.
- No one is an island.
When God created the world, he repeated this phrase.
- “It is good.”
- But just once, he said, “It is not good.”
- It is not good for the man to be alone.
- And he created Eve.
- Creating Eve does not mean that he created another human being.
- It means by creating Eve, God created the relationship which wasn’t there when Adam was alone.
- God wants us to live in relationship.
But when we look around, we see human relationships broken.
- Because of broken relationships, people get hurt, they go through so many problems, we see many tears.
- And sometimes we feel that there is really nobody that we can be connected with.
- Nobody wants me, nobody seeks after me, nobody is glad to see me; We feel deep loneliness.
- We come to a sense that we are really alone.
Especially when we experience life’s suffering, this loneliness gets intensified.
- We can see that in Jesus on the cross.
- He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
- Jesus didn’t mean that God really abandoned him.
- Jesus expressed his ultimate aloneness.
When we read Job, we don’t see only his problems, but we can clearly see his loneliness that was caused by his problems.
- His children all died; his wife abandoned him.
- And his friends who came supposedly to help him threw him into deeper darkness.
- Job confessed:
- “If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.” (Job 23:8, 9)
- He felt the absence of God.
- He felt that the whole world turned its face away from him.
Jesus’ disciples must have felt the same when Jesus left them.
- They solely depended on Jesus, they followed Jesus and they were able to endure all kinds of suffering because Jesus was with them.
- But the problems got deeper and their master was persecuted and ultimately, he was crucified and they were left all alone.
Knowing what would happen, Jesus gave them this teaching in today’s passage.
- Jesus said, I will never leave you like an orphan.
- Even though I am not with you physically, I will ask God to give you the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.
- He said he would give the peace that the world cannot give.
- Do not let your hearts be troubled.
- Do not fear, he said.
We are alone but we are not alone.
- The Spirit is with us.
- How do we know that the Spirit is with us?
- We cannot know it by feeling.
- We cannot see the Spirit physically.
- We can know it because the Spirit gives us peace.
- When we believe that the Spirit is with us, we will experience the peace.
- Worries and fear will disappear.
When we are alone, we have to be careful not to fall into darkness.
- We have to be careful not to let fear take hold of our life.
- We have to be careful not to let anxiety paralyze us.
What we need is faith.
- Faith that the Spirit is with us.
- When we believe that the Spirit is with us, we can deal with our aloneness.
- We will have peace and the peace will give us confidence.
- We can defeat anxiety, fear, and worries that come to us like a flood.
Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever.” (John 14:16).
- For ever, the Spirit is with us.
- Abiding in you for ever, the Spirit will give us peace we need.
- Let us believe in the Spirit who is with us.
- He will keep us safe.
- He will keep us strong.