He is leaving, and a “Friend” is coming.
That is what I am hearing, John 16. The Message (Eugene Peterson) is not my default, but it reminds me to lighten up; and invites me outside the box, where many of us think and move and live. “Friend” is a subtopic reference, and “Friend” is used below. I hope you find some substance of encouragement from this handful of excerpts, while continuing to walk through the orchards of endless fruit … outside the box.
“I’ve told you these things (am I listening?) to prepare you … (how has He prepared me?) … They are going to throw you out of the meeting places (kind of like prayer being thrown out of school?) . . . “
(Subtopic Title, The Friend Will Come)
” . . . truth: It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend won’t come . . .”
” . . . But if I go, I’ll send him to you . . .”
” . . . I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now . . . when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is (“all”?).”
When He became known, and visible, in . . . what(?) . . . a “trough” or a box, where livestock feed in a stable, no one would know what would happen with Jesus and through Jesus. Things started off pretty wild. A thug-king, Herod, sent killers out to get Jesus. These lyrics are from Bruce Cockburn’s song “Tiny Babe”.
Sends death squads to kill all male children under two
But that same bright angel warns the parents in a dream
And they head out for the border and get away clean.”
I bet things were strange for Mary to have a son who was Jesus, born in a trough due to the innkeeper’s attitude (a radical paraphrase):
“I’ve got no room for you.
You don’t belong in this inn.”
He brought disruption, comfort, hope and healing. And because of Him, we actually have the “Friend” who guides us through all this. I hope your Christmas is a blessing as you take some time to think about Who was in the trough, and Who went to the Cross.