And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — John 14:16
Jesus used the word Helper four times in one discussion with His disciples to describe the nature and work of the Holy Spirit (John 14-16, 26; 15:26; 16:7, ESV). The Greek word is paraclete, and at its root are the concepts of advising, encouraging, comforting, strengthening and intervening.
When Jesus spoke to His men about the Helper, He knew the disciples would soon meet with great distresses, trials, difficulties, and persecutions. They would need all of the assistance that the Helper could offer to stay loyal, faithful, and productive in the midst of the great changes and challenges, in their lives. On the flip side, filled with the Spirit’s mighty presence and power, they would become agents of that same help, comfort, and encouragement, producing healing and hope in the lives of others. The disciples would accomplish this by showing up and speaking up in the lives of the people they would encounter.
This is the same mission the Holy Spirit seeks to carry forward in every disciple. Our little family Christmas tradition is a good reminder to me that while big opportunities to help others rarely come, the small ones surround me daily. In baseball, they call it winning by “small ball,” which is the strategy of steadily advancing base runners versus relying on the big home-run hitters.
Jesus knew how important that it was to show up in our lives after his physical departure, so he provided his Helper the Holy Spirit to help us be involved with others.
Father, you have given us the winning strategy that starts with of course, showing up.