Recently I was reading a story about the great blues musician Jimmy Reed. The Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Grateful Dead, and Elvis Presley all credited Reed as a major influence of their music. One of the numerous hits he had in the 1950’s was a song called, Shame, Shame, Shame. There is a story around that if you listened very carefully to his original recording of Shame, Shame, Shame you could hear a woman’s voice faintly whispering in the background. Supposedly Reed would become so absorbed in the bluesy beat and guitar riffs that he simply could not remember the words of his own songs. To help with the lyrics, his wife would sit next to Jimmy and coach him through the recording session, whispering the upcoming stanzas into his ear as he sang.
In this week's Bible story (John 14:15-21), Jesus is meeting with His disciples for one last time. They are anxious. They are scared. They know that as soon as Jesus leaves that upper room, He will be arrested, put on trial, and crucified. He will be leaving them and, for the moment, they cannot follow. Then Jesus says this, “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.” How? He continues, "I will ask the Father and He will give you another advocate to help you." (John 14:16) He will send the Holy Spirit. In Greek, the word is paraclete. The word 'paraclete' means someone who comes alongside of you to help you, to comfort you, to advocate for you; someone who comes alongside of you to whisper the words in your ear.
Eight weeks is a long time to shelter in place. Like the disciples, we feel like orphans. But we are not alone. Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit (the Paraclete), is by our side - comforting, empowering, advocating, loving.
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