With his time on earth ending, Jesus told his disciples, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever . . .” (John 14:16-17). This Helper “will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). He will “guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).
Jesus was comforting his disciples. “Let not your hearts be troubled,” he said (John 14:27). Though he was going away, they would not be abandoned. There’s someone coming, he told them, who’ll be with them all-the-time and forever. A constant companion. One who will actually occupy a place deep within their inner machinery. He “dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). This “someone” is, of course, God the Holy Spirit—and he was not just for the disciples. He is for us too. He is our constant companion. He abides with us and occupies a place deep within our inner machinery too.
When you gather in Christian brotherhood, you mustn’t forget to invite, into your gatherings, the input and influence of your Helper, your Teacher, your Guide. You needn’t invite him. He’ll be there already, for sure. But he won’t force his input and influence—you’ll need to ask for them. You’ll need to invite his goodness and light . . . and especially into the dark places you’d prefer to keep hidden. Few of us want help in those places, but we must ask nonetheless. It’s in those places that we most need it. It’s in those places that the Spirit most wants to work. And, as reluctant as we might be, it’s sure easier to trust and ask for help together, with brothers standing by us, doing the same.