Virtual Sunday School: May 17, 2020

Note: The transcript of the video posted to Facebook appears first; the activities mentioned in it are below the transcript.

Hi, Friends!

I hope everyone had a good week!

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus reassures His disciples that when He leaves them, he will “give them another Advocate…the Spirit.”

What does that mean? There are several words in that last sentence I would like to talk about more.

Synonyms are different words that share a similar meaning. Some synonyms for “reassure” include encourage or comfort. Reassurce is what our parents give us when we wake up from a nightmare and feel scared. Reassurance is how we help our friend who fell down on the playground and scraped his knee to feel better. It’s like showing kindness, but going a step further.

Jesus reassures His disciples by promising them that their “Advocate…the Spirit” will be with them even when He is gone. What did He mean? First, let’s talk about the word “Advocate.” When you advocate for someone else, it means you support them and even defend them. This “Spirit” is the same as the Holy Spirit you may hear us talk about in church. The Holy Spirit not only watches over us, but also walks with us, supporting us, sharing in our joys and our sadness. The Holy Spirit and Jesus and the Father are all one and the same – it is a great mystery we call the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God present with us our whole life long, in good times and in bad times.

Reassurance tells us that, even when times are hard, life will eventually get better.

Friends, you are smart so I will speak honestly with you. Lots of people are struggling right now because of the coronavirus. They have to stay home and can’t visit family and friends they love very much. Some people lost their jobs. Lots of people are worried. The coronavirus is why we have to do virutal Sunday School. It’s just not safe to meet face-to-face. We have to be careful not to spread illness, and the best way to do that is to stay separated.

We know it will take some time before it’s safe to be near to one another again. It will take time for things to get better. But the Holy Spirit is present with us, especially when we’re sad and hurting, and will walk with us. The Holy Spirit reassures us that eventually, things will get better. They may not be the same – but they will be better.

I now intive you to wonder with me about this Great Mystery of God’s presence.

  • I wonder…have you ever given or received reassurance?
  • I wonder…what is it like to have someone walk beside you when you are hurting or sad?
  • I wonder…what is it like to walk with someone else who is hurting or sad?
  • I wonder…how you experience the presence of the Holy Spirit?

You may have heard my cat in the background. We’ll see if he wants to say “hi” now. Come here. You can’t be meowing and not let them see your handsome face. Come here. Here he is. He doesn’t really like to be picked up. He’s my best friend. And he’s very handsome. And he wants down now!

Please write to me if you would like to share your wonderings, or even just to say hello. Miss you guys! God Bless!