I Will Not Leave You Orphans

Week of May 21, 2017

As Jesus proclaims the promise of the Holy Spirit, He calls us into the depth of the mystery of the Trinity.  He longs for us to enter into the interrelationship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  He allows us to know within this interrelationship we are brought into the middle of it because we are the recipients of the love they share within themselves in the Trinity.  Language cannot capture the depth of this mystery, yet the promise of never being alone, never being abandoned and never being orphaned is the message of divine love.  Jesus reassures the disciples and reassures us that we are not orphaned.  Even though the physical body of Jesus who died on the cross will not be seen as the first disciples saw Him, He will never leave us.  These are powerful words and they contain a divine reality.

When have we ever felt lost or behind?  I remember getting lost in the early morning when it was long before dawn.  I had my parents in the car and we were leaving the Tel Aviv Hotel to go to the airport in order to return the rental car.  It was 4:00 AM and we could not find the right road.  Twice I pulled off the road and was totally afraid.  At that hour, not knowing where we were or how to get to the right road, I felt helpless.  While my dad was frustrated and my mom also worried, we said a few prayers, stopped blaming and yelling at each other and made another attempt.  Finally, I found a cab driving along the road and we followed it.  Thankfully, my instincts were right because it too was heading to the airport.  We arrived at our destination.  The complete sense of being lost in a land I did not know, in a country that was not completely peaceful, with two senior citizens who would not be able to run fast, weighed heavy on my heart.  Panic was in my voice, deep prayer was in my heart.  Abandoned, no.  Still in God’s protective care, yes.  Jesus is not beyond these places.  He was there.  The cab driver was an angel sent after we all said some gut wrenching prayers.  We all lived to see another day.

When we need God most, He will not abandon us nor will He forsake us.  His will might not match our own and suffering will still occur, yet alone we will never be. In the next two weeks as we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost, may we be drawn into the mystery of the Trinity.

Reverend John J. Ouper