Easter 6C Musings
Texts: John 14:23-29
This text shares the words of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse before his death. In light of the dark days ahead, Jesus speaks words of peace and reminds the disciples that even in this difficult circumstances that they will not be alone. They Holy Spirit will be their Companion.
Scholar Raymond Brown (as read in Spirit and Trauma by Shelley Rambo) points out that, at the moment that Jesus dies, Jesus “hands over his spirit” to Mary and the beloved disciples. Brown posits that this could be an unofficial gift of the Spirit, prior to the formal gift, given later by the Risen Christ to the disciples in the Upper Room after the resurrection.
The gift of the Spirit at the moment of the crucifixion is profound because the Spirit bears witness to the experience of the disciples in the wake of Jesus’ death and burial. It remains after all else has fallen away. It bears witness not only to the disciples’ grief and pain on Good Friday but also to the the uncertainty that follows on Holy Saturday, when the disciples are unsure what comes next.
In this Scripture, Jesus reminds us that, at its heart, peace is companionship, peace is the Holy walking with us through the valley of the shadow of death, peace is knowing that we are not alone and that wherever we may end up the Spirit of Love accompanies us.
Rambo would argue that this truth is redemptive: It is redemptive that the Spirit remains with us even in our darkest hour, creating space for something new, creating space for resurrection, even when we like the disciples are not yet sure that it will come.