The Seventh Sunday of Easter seems to be like a guest who we really appreciated hosting, but now has stayed a bit too long. We really want to move on to Pentecost and Trinity Sunday and then the Pentecost season. Since Easter 7 follows Ascension Day on Thursday, which is mostly ignored, do we ignore the seventh Sunday in favor of an Ascension Day Sunday? I know, this is only a problem for preachers and those planning worship.
This weekend I’m at two churches in Illinois, New Athens and Darmstadt, where they use the one-year lectionary. The gospel emphasizes the promised coming of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. Why don’t we call this Sunday, Holy Spirit Sunday? We tend to give the Holy Spirit short schrift anyway.
While I’m at, I think the translations of Paraclete are too narrow. The Paraclete is more than Helper, an Advocate, A Comforter or Counselor. It is all of those and more. A Paraclete is one called to be alongside us in the place of Jesus who has ascended. The Paraclete is sent by Jesus and the heavenly Father, to carry on the ministry of Jesus. It is among us forever, to teach all the things which Jesus did and taught. To guide us in carrying out Jesus command to love one another. To bear witness to Jesus and impel us to bear witness of Jesus.
Have a blessed Sunday in the Holy Spirit.