May 15, 2020
Dear Lake B Family and Friends,
“He will give you an Advocate to be with you forever….” John 14
I continue to be thankful for the ways that God is making God’s self known; both to me personally and as part of this congregation. This is my prayer for all of us; that we would be fully aware of the abiding presence of Christ’s Spirit within us; that the Spirit of God would increase our wisdom and deepen our compassion for others, that we might witness to the power and transforming love of God, even in the presence of evil in the world.
The recent unjust killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have reminded us that we are distant from being a human community that mirrors God, who is compassionate, full of justice and mercy. Creator God, who’s image we bear, loves all of humanity. That love is enfleshed in the life of Jesus Christ. All we need to know about God was made known to us in Christ.
John 14:15-27 gives us another “embodied” view of how we are to live in the world; Jesus as Advocate.
In the final days of Jesus’ life, he said that the Father would give us another Advocate to take his place. Jesus showed us what the role looks like. He listened to the story of the hemorrhaging woman, and the woman at the well. He saw enough value in others to forgive them, even when they crucified him. The Advocate preached about making things right – especially on behalf of those who are oppressed.
Jesus, the Advocate, promised to send another that would be with us forever.
The Holy Spirit plays the role of Advocate now, abiding in us. She bears witness to the image of God stamped in all of our lives by being in us and living through us. The Spirit, the second advocate, is the continuation of Jesus’ promise of a deep and engaged presence in our lives.
The Advocate Spirit lives in us and with us, to love and pray for people, and to care for their immediate needs — both physical and spiritual. AND, she gives us power and authority to challenge the systems and structures that perpetuate evil and lead to violence.
The Advocate Spirit calls us to name injustice, to stand with all those who suffer the resulting violence every day and to work for change. She moves us to not remain silent in the face of injustice. She empowers us to cry out, to lament, and then to speak and to act.
We have all that we need. We have the Spirit of God within us.
Working in partnership with you at Lake B is a great gift and privilege. I thank God for this time in life and ministry that we share together. While we are “distant”, continue to do all the good things you are doing, caring for one another, praying for one another, and giving of yourselves to God and God’s work. May his wisdom lead and guide all we do.
Abiding together in God’s grace,
An update: The emergency assistance fund to date has received about $36,000. These resources plus the twice weekly food distributions have served 760 families with utilities assistance, groceries, and gift cards.