So often people make demands upon us: what is expected to be a good friend; a good daughter or son; a good teammate; a good lab partner; a good roommate? Knowing what the expectations are is helpful, but too often we lack the desire to carry them out. We sometimes feel that the expectations do more for the other than they do for us. As selfless as we might want to be – it can be hard to believe that living for others will actually allow us in some way to flourish. Except in the case of Jesus.
Knowing that his disciples will struggle to live “in Him” after he is physically gone as they have during his public ministry, Jesus takes time to share with his closest followers his great promise: they will not be alone! With an eye toward the challenges that the disciples will face, Jesus recognizes that they will need the support of his Spirit who will literally advocate (speak) on their behalf. They need not worry about what to say or do, if they simply keep their eyes on the goal: being with and in him. The simplest demonstration of that reality is to do what he has commanded them – especially as it relates to loving one another.
To be caught up in the beauty of life in Christ is a demand that no longer comes with expectations that are more for others than for me. No, this promise brings fullness of life for me and for all. That is the greatness of the promise. I simply need to demonstrate daily my acceptance of “being in” him and allow the Advocate to inspire the rest.
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