Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc:
How often have you been asked to help someone who’s put themselves in a difficult situation? How do you support someone who’s made bad decisions? How can you expect the support of your family and friends when you’ve completely messed up?
Harvey just called from jail. He’s been arrested for burglary and needs someone to bail him out. He needs someone to stand beside him through the upcoming trial.
Gladys just called from the courthouse. She’s been convicted of writing bad checks and needs some help paying her fine or she’ll have to spend 2 months in jail. She needs someone to stand beside her and vouch for the judge that she’ll pay her fine so that she can go home.
Bill just called. He’s been in a car accident and has broken both legs. He’s asking you to go to his home and bring clothes and personal items to the hospital. He’s also asking you to call his estranged children. He needs you to support him and to help him talk with his family.
Each of these folks is in a difficult situation. Some, if not all, of what is going on is definitely related to poor decision making on their part. But each of these people needs someone to support them as they face what’s ahead.
In this week’s Bible reading from John 14:15-21, Jesus promises that God will send an advocate (or counselor, comforter or helper) so that the disciples won’t be abandoned or alone when Jesus leaves. He’s continuing to give them words of comfort in his farewell speech to them.
I wonder. Would Jesus have said the same words to a group he didn’t trust? Is there anything we could ever do to make it so God’s spirit – the counselor, helper, comforter – advocate – would reject us?
I don’t think so.