Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Proper 4B (2 Pentecost 2018) Readings & Commentaries

1st Reading (Track 1):  1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Our first reading is the call of the prophet Samuel while he was a boy serving under the priest Eli.  Samuel’s mother Hannah had dedicated him to the Lord’s service after his miraculous birth. His first prophetic act is to deliver a harsh message to his mentor, signaling the end of his priestly line.  God is about to do a new thing in raising up a king to rule over Israel.  Samuel will become God’s “kingmaker.”  Question: How do you recognize the voice of God?

3:1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
[11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. 12 On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. 14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.” 15 Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.” 17 Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.” 19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.]

Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17 (Track 1)
Psalm 139 tells of the God who is not only Lord of creation, but also present to every human being, knowing our innermost thoughts.  We have been created with the greatest of care.  Question: Can you think of a time when God searched you out and knew you?  If not, can you ask God to reveal himself deep within you?

1   Lord, you have searched me out and known me; *
           you know my sitting down and my rising up;
           you discern my thoughts from afar.
2   You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
           and are acquainted with all my ways.
3   Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
           but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
4   You press upon me behind and before *
           and lay your hand upon me.
5   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
           it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
12 For you yourself created my inmost parts; *
           you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
13 I will thank you because I am marvelously made; *
           your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
14 My body was not hidden from you, *
           while I was being made in secret
           and woven in the depths of the earth.
15 Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
     all of them were written in your book; *
           they were fashioned day by day,
           when as yet there was none of them.
16 How deep I find your thoughts, O God! *
           how great is the sum of them!
17 If I were to count them, they would be more in number
                                   than the sand; *
           to count them all, my life span would need to
                                   be like yours.

Or this

1st Reading (Track 2):  Deuteronomy 5:12-15
This passage is taken out of the listing of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5, a listing in which the sabbath commandment receives a great deal of attention (see Exodus 20:1-17 for the “original” list).  The sabbath commandment is often called the hinge between those commandment about relationship with God (1-3) and those about relationship in human community (5-10).  The sabbath is a gift of rest.  In the Exodus version, this gift follows upon God’s rest on the seventh day of creation.  Here the rest has to do with an exercise in freedom—freedom not granted under slavery in Egypt.  Why should we and how can we follow the sabbath command today?

5:12 Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 14 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.

Psalm 81:1-10 (Track 2)
Psalm 81 begins with a call to worship (1-6a), followed by an oracle from God regarding the deliverance of the people from slavery in Egypt, similar to the reason given to observe the sabbath in out first reading.

1   Sing with joy to God our strength *
           and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.
2   Raise a song and sound the timbrel, *
           the merry harp, and the lyre.
3   Blow the ram’s-horn at the new moon, *
           and at the full moon, the day of our feast.
4   For this is a statute for Israel, *
           a law of the God of Jacob.
5   He laid it as a solemn charge upon Joseph; *
           when he came out of the land of Egypt.
6   I heard an unfamiliar voice saying, *
           “I eased his shoulder from the burden;
           His hands were set free from bearing the load.”
7   You called on me in trouble, and I saved you; *
           I answered you from the secret place of thunder
           And tested you at the waters of Meribah.
8   Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you: *
           O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9   There shall be no strange god among you; *
           you shall not worship a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
     Who brought you out of the land of Egypt and said, *
           “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”

2nd Reading:  2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Paul has been defending his ministry, which apparently has come under question among some of the Corinthians.  In our passage today, he speaks of what makes Christian ministry authentic and authoritative. This is as true for our own ministries today as it was for Paul.  It begins, always, as the ministry of Jesus, coming from deep within. Humbleness is also essential.  The paradox of confidence and humility is just one of the tensions we must hold together in ministry.  The last sentence means something like, “I must give up myself to serve you so that you may have life.”

4:5 We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11 For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Gospel Reading:  Mark 2:23—3:6
Our Gospel is two scenes, both regarding the sabbath laws that had developed in Israel, which had become more and more difficult to follow.  Jesus desires for common sense to prevail, and a fundamental change of perspective.  The command of sabbath is meant for the good of humankind, not for its enslavement.  It does not take long in Mark’s Gospel for both religious and political authorities to begin to seek a way to be rid of Jesus and his meddlesome teaching.

2:23 One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26 He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” 27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” 3:1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

The Scripture readings (except for the psalm) are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.  The Psalm translation is from The Book of Common Prayer.  Commentaries are copyright © 2017 Epiphany ESources, 67 E. Main St., Hornell, NY 14843. All rights reserved. Permission is given to copy for congregational use or group study with this attribution.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Trinity Sunday B Readings & Commentaries

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

1st Reading:  Isaiah 6:1-8
Our first reading is the call of Isaiah to prophesy to the people of Judah.  The scene is the throne room of God and the mood is one of sheer awe.  In the face of God’s holiness, Isaiah can only shrink back.  Yet the mercy of God shines through and Isaiah is then able confidently to answer the call.  This reading is chosen for Trinity Sunday because of the curious, “Who will go for us?”  Why the use of the plural?  Christians have seen it as a foreshadowing of the Trinity (see a similar use at Genesis 1:26).

6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

Canticle: A Song of Praise (Benedictus es, Domine)
The text of this canticle is The Prayer of Azariah & the Song of the Three, 29-34.  It is found in the Book of Common Prayer as Canticle 13 (p. 90). It is taken from the apocryphal additions to the book of Daniel (inserted between 3:23 and 3:24).  This text is a portion of the song the three young men sing in the fiery furnace.  The entire song is 40 verses long.  The final verse below is a Christian addition.

Glory to you, Lord God of our ancestors; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Or this

Psalm 29
Psalm 29 is an obvious psalm in response to our first reading, especially due to verse 9.  The heavens open and the voice of God rings through the whole creation, over whom the Lord is sovereign.  One thing that distinguishes this psalm is its use of the divine name “Yahweh” (translated, “the Lord”) 18 times.  In addition, the term “voice” is heard seven times.  It’s a reminder that the psalms are poetry!

1     Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, *
                  ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2     Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his Name; *
                  worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3     The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
       the God of glory thunders; *
                  the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
4     The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; *
                  the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor.
5     The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; *
                  the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6     He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
                  and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7     The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire;
       the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; *
                  the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
8     The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe *
                  and strips the forests bare.
9     And in the temple of the Lord *
                  all are crying, “Glory!”
10   The Lord sits enthroned above the flood; *
                  the Lord sits enthroned as King for evermore.
11   The Lord shall give strength to his people; *
                  the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

2nd Reading:  Romans 8:12-17
In chapter 8 of Romans, Paul contrasts life “according to the flesh” with life “according to the Spirit.”  Here he indicates the contents of the life of the Spirit: adoption as children of God, as God’s Spirit is united to our own and we are able to cry to God as an intimate familiar (“Abba” is the Aramaic word for “father.”).  Our deep sharing with Christ in the Spirit means, however, a sharing in his suffering as well as his glorification.

8:12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Gospel Reading:  John 3:1-17
In the context of Trinity Sunday, the story of Nicodemus’ meeting with Jesus takes on particular meaning.  Although it cannot be used as a “proof text” for the doctrine of the Trinity, it does feed into it with all three persons of the Trinity present in the story.  In this context as well, “being born from above” takes on the need for and promise of our sharing in the divine life.  We are offered the opportunity to be caught up in the divine love that characterizes the relationship among the members of the Trinity.

3:1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

The Scripture readings (except for the psalm) are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.  The Psalm translation is from The Book of Common Prayer.  Commentaries are copyright © 2018, Epiphany ESources, 67 E. Main St., Hornell, NY  14843, All rights reserved. Permission to copy and edit for church services and for group study is given, provided this attribution remains.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Day of Pentecost B Readings & Commentaries

The Day of Pentecost:  Whitsunday (B)

1st Reading:  Ezekiel 37:1-14
Ezekiel was a prophet during the time of Israel’s exile in Babylon.  He was known for his vivid dreams, one of which is our first reading today.  Ezekiel is taken in this dream to a valley littered with dry bones, a metaphor for Israel’s life under the oppressive Babylonian Empire.  “Can these bones live?” is the question of Israel’s reality in exile.  Do we have a future?  The story keeps us in suspense for a bit, but the definitive answer is, “Yes.”  God will provide a future, despite the present reality.  The “breath” is an important aspect on this day of what invigorates the dry bones.  The word for “breath,” “wind,” and “spirit” are the same word in Hebrew.

37:1 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LordThus says the Lord God to these bones:  I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath:  Thus says the Lord God Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. 11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

Or this

1st Reading:  Acts 2:1-21
Our first reading is the story of the Spirit’s manifestation on the Day of Pentecost.  Pentecost was a major Jewish festival which occurred 50 days after Passover.  It is also known as the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. The Holy Spirit’s falling on everyone is a different phenomenon than the Spirit’s falling on individuals in the Hebrew Scriptures (and usually for a set period of time). Peter’s speech includes an extended quote from the prophet Joel (2:28-32).

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:  17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

Psalm 104:25-35, 37b
Psalm 104 as a whole is a hymn to God as creator and sustainer of all life. Our portion today concludes the psalm with a reference to God’s taming of the sea (seen by ancient peoples as the source of chaos represented here by the sea monster “Leviathan,” which is God’s plaything). It also includes a reference to the Spirit of God.  “Breath” in verse 30 and “Spirit” in verse 31 are the same Hebrew word ruaḥ.

25  Lord, how manifold are your works! *
                 in wisdom you have made them all;
                 the earth is full of your creatures.
26  Yonder is the great and wide sea
      with its living things too many to number, *
                 creatures both small and great.
27  There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, *
                 which you have made for the sport of it.
28  All of them look to you *
                 to give them their food in due season.
29  You give it to them; they gather it; *
                 you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.
30  You hide your face, and they are terrified; *
                 you take away their breath,
                 and they die and return to their dust.
31  You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; *
                 and so you renew the face of the earth.
32  May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; *
                 may the Lord rejoice in all his works.
33  He looks at the earth and it trembles; *
                 he touches the mountains and they smoke.
34  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; *
                 I will praise my God while I have my being.
35  May these words of mine please him; *
                 I will rejoice in the Lord.  [37b] Hallelujah!

2nd Reading:  Acts 2:1-21 (see above)

Or this

2nd Reading:  Romans 8:22-27
Romans chapter eight is Paul’s great proclamation of Life in the Spirit. Paul asserts what the story of Pentecost proclaims, that the Spirit of God dwells in all believers (8:9). That Spirit prays in us, even when we have no words. More than this, Paul says, in what is a stunning theology of the creation, the creation itself groans to be set free, as we do, who are part of that creation. The Spirit is, in one sense, a way of speaking about the intimacy we share with God, as God’s adopted daughters and sons rather than slaves (see also 8:15).

8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 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. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Gospel Reading:  John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
Our Gospel reading today contains three out of the four predictions by Jesus of the coming of the Spirit in John’s Gospel.  Jesus calls the Spirit, “the Advocate,” a judicial term.  The Spirit will plead our cause, testify on our behalf.  And the Spirit will prove the world wrong “about sin and righteousness and judgment.”  The world only knows punishment for sin.  God has responded with forgiveness.  And finally, the Spirit will lead the followers of Jesus into all truth, a saying in which Jesus clearly teaches that there is more to be learned in every generation of believers.

15:26 Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. 4b I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. 12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

The Scripture quotations (except for the psalm) are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.  The Psalm translation is from The Book of Common Prayer.  Commentaries are copyright © 2018 Epiphany ESources, 67 E. Main St., Hornell, NY 14843. All rights reserved. Permission is given to copy for congregational use with this attribution.