Sermon for Easter 6 – 5.14.23

+ 6th Sunday of Easter – May 14th, 2023 +

Series A: Acts 17:16-31; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA

 

“Another Helper”

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

We’re used to thinking of Christmas as the season for gift giving, and for good reason. We give and receive earthly gifts mindful of the greater and greatest gift: God the Father gives and sends His Son, Jesus, born to save you.

 

And yet Easter is also a time of gift giving. Jesus gives his life for you in his sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus gives you the new creation through his resurrection. Jesus gives us his promise to be with us in his word wherever two or three are gathered in his name. Jesus gives us his perfect life, his dying and rising as he joins you to himself in holy baptism. Jesus gives you his crucified, risen, glorified, ascended body to eat and drink in his supper where he continues to be known and to abide in the breaking of the bread.

 

And, as we hear in John 14 this morning, Jesus also promises to give us the Holy Spirit.

 

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.

 

God makes himself known to us in giving. The Father gives His Son. The Son gives his life for you. The Son gives the Holy Spirit to you. And the Holy Spirit gives you Jesus who gives you back to the Father.

 

Even though the events in John 14 happened before Jesus’ death, we hear them now in light of Easter, through the lens of Jesus’ death and resurrection for us. Because of all Jesus did on the cross, rising from the dead, we can be certain that when he promises to give and send the Holy Spirit, he will do it. He is faithful. As we celebrate Easter we rejoice that God the Son who was given to save us, also gives and sends to us the God the Holy Spirit.

 

As we continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, our Lord gives you the Holy Spirit to be your advocate and helper. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.

 

The Holy Spirit is the “other helper” Jesus is speaking about here in John 14. The word there is a strange word you might have heard before. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the paraclete. No, not those little birds people have as pets. Paraclete. It means a legal counselor or adviser in court. An advocate, a defender, or helper.

 

Jesus sends Holy Spirit as the helper. By the Holy Spirit, the Helper, we see our sins for what they are: deadly and in need of repentance. By the Holy Spirit, the Helper, we confess our sins, for on our own we would not. By the Holy Spirit, the Helper, we trust in Christ our advocate, as John writes in 1 John 2, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 

 

By the Holy Spirit, our helper, we love and serve our neighbor in the good works God has prepared beforehand. By the Holy Spirit, our helper, we love and live in the words and teachings of Jesus. By the Holy Spirit, our helper, we guard, keep, defend, cherish, and treasure Jesus words.

 

This is what Jesus is teaching us several times in John 14 when he says, If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Or when he says, Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.

 

We hear the word “commandments” here, we usually think “do” or “obey.” Certainly that is part of what our Lord wants for us, to do and obey his word. But what Jesus says goes deeper than actions. When Jesus says If you love me, you will keep my commandments, He’s also telling us to keep, hold dear, treasure, cherish, and guard his word. So when we confess that we have not obeyed or followed all of God’s commands, we are in fact keeping with and holding dear His word for us.

 

We keep and guard Jesus’ word when we speak truthfully about his teachings in the Scriptures. We keep and treasure Jesus’ word when we speak his word to others around us. We keep and hold dear Jesus’ word when we look out for and care for the needs of others around us in our congregation, family, and community. We keep the commandments of Jesus when we admit that we have not always kept his commandments. We keep and hold dear Jesus word when we hear and receive his word of forgiveness.

 

It’s no accident Jesus promises the Holy Spirit right after he teaches us to live by keeping, treasuring, and guarding his words. This only happens in and through and by the Holy Spirit Jesus gives and sends to you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Jesus promises and gives and sends another Helper. The Holy Spirit. Your advocate. Your counselor. Your Helper.

 

And when Jesus promises to send you the Holy Spirit, Jesus is giving you the Holy Spirit so that you will keep, guard, and live in the very word he gives you.

 

When you confess your sins, the Holy Spirit is there, showing your sin, and greater than that, showing you your Savior Jesus who paid for your sin. When you live and serve in your vocations, the Holy Spirit is there, helping you to live and work and speak in the words and ways of Jesus. When you receive God’s gifts in water, word, body and blood here in his church, the Holy Spirit is there too, leading you into the truth of God’s word, advocating, counseling, helping you by continuing to give you Jesus and bring you to Jesus all by Jesus’ promise.

 

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

 

The Holy Spirit is one of Jesus’ many gifts to you this Easter season. By the Holy Spirit, Jesus your crucified and risen Lord lives and dwells with you and for you. By the Holy Spirit, the words and love and promises of Jesus abide with you now and forever. By the Holy Spirit you live in Jesus’ crucified and risen life now and forever.

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

Contact

Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977