Friday, March 9, 2018

Foundation of Consolation

Many of you know that today and tomorrow we will be greeting the family of Mark Kolk to offer our sympathy, share in grief, remember a life well lived and ultimately reconnect to the Source of Mark’s hope and ours. We come together as a community; individuals whose lives have been woven together to love one another and bear one another’s burdens.

But we are not alone in this burden bearing. As we have been learning through this Upper Room Discourse of Jesus’, he has given us another Paraclete. That word, paraclete, is translated helper, comforter, advocate, counselor in the various translations. Literally it means a side-caller, one who comes alongside to speak for us and to us of things that are greater than ourselves.

Part of the question is why don’t we call to mind more readily the presence of the Holy Spirit? Why don’t we invite the help that is so readily offered? John Owen put it this way in his book Communion with the Triune God:
I deny that ever the Holy Spirit does absolutely and universally leave a believing soul without consolation. A man may be darkened, clouded, refuse comfort—actually find none or feel none; but radically he has a foundation of consolation, which in due time will be drawn forth. 
We have a “foundation of consolation”! We may not always experience it, but for the believer, it is there and will be drawn forth in due time. What a gift it is to lean into this foundation during our grief. Whatever your grief is, whatever questions you have, whatever pain you are in the midst of, know that the paraclete is with you.

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