“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.” John 14:15-17 NRSV
All of this passage – as with Christ’s entire message – relies upon his two commandments. They are: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Everything hinges on that one word: love. If we love Christ, then we will follow his commandments, and love God, and love our neighbor. And from that flows everything else.
When we live in love, with God and our neighbor, then we already are in the Spirit – Christ is living and working within us. And that spiritual connection with Christ is truth – love is the emotive power that takes the ultimate truth of God out into the world.
If love, then, is the embodiment of truth and the enactment of the Spirit, it necessarily follows anything that is not love is not truth, and is outside of the Spirit. This is precisely why Christ tells the disciples the world at large will not recognize the Spirit – because the world by and large lives for the world’s concerns.
It is only when we step out of the self-centered focus of the world – when we surrender our greed, anxiety, and fear, and focus instead on loving our neighbor, and thence God – that we truly recognize the Spirit, and begin to live in truth.
The good news is that we all, just as the disciples, have the power to make that choice: to live in love, and to open our hearts to the awesome power of the Spirit of Christ working with and within us. Within that relationship is our Advocate: the spiritual power that intercedes for our needs before we know we need them. And, with that power, what use do we have for worry?
Lord, help us to see the world today through the lens of your perfect love. Let us recognize your Spirit, always ready to bring God’s love to us, and through us to our neighbor. Amen.