by Tony Nester

The Comforter
Tony Nester
(John 14:25-27 NRSV) ""I have said these things to you while I am still with you. {26} But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. {27} Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."

I've been told that red is the first color perceived by the human brain. Red is a power-color: it can represent blood and fire. During the Middle Ages only the nobility were allowed to wear red: kings, church cardinals, and judges. Wearing red was a symbol of their power.

Today is a red-color day for our church. It's Pentecost Sunday — a power-day for believers in Christ. The power is from the Holy Spirit which descended on Jesus' disciples as they were praying and worshipping together in Jerusalem.

Jesus had been crucified, dead and buried. He had been raised on the third day. After 40 days of unpredictable appearances to his disciples he ascended into Heaven. Now what? The disciples in Jerusalem were the first "left behind" Christians.

When they were filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost the answer was given. Spiritually speaking, they would be stained with the color red. Red for the blood of Christ. Red for the color of Jesus, their Royal King. And above all, red for the power of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost comes but one Sunday of the year, but a Christian is a Pentecostal Christian every day of the year.

Believers can not survive one day without the Spirit. That is why we often call the Holy Spirit "The Comforter" — even though a more accurate translation of John 14:26 uses the word "Advocate".

We need the comfort of the Holy Spirit. This is not the case, as many think, because believers are weak, but because Christianity is so challenging to live. As G. K. Chesterton put it: "Christiani ...

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