This coming Sunday is Pentecost; the day Christians celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles (and other followers of Jesus), after Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. The Holy Spirit in Greek is “parakletos” which is commonly translated as “advocate.” But Parakletos also comes from “parakalein” which translates “called to one’s aid.” (Thank you for sharing this translation, Pastor Greg Bain!)
What I love about this particular definition is how appropriate it still is; even after thousands of years. I often find myself “calling the Holy Spirit to my aid.” And, when all the pieces of something fall into place in my life or all the stars seem to align in a way that I can hardly explain, I am usually quick to give the Holy Spirit credit for providing me with moments of clarity, wisdom or peace about a major decision.
But I also think the descent of the Holy Spirit on us speaks volumes about how God wants us to respond to the needs of the world. Just as God loves us; we are called to love others. Just as Jesus invites us to follow him; we are called to be disciples and mimic Jesus’ words and actions. So, just as the Holy Spirit comes to our aid, so also are we called to aid others. And, there is a lot calling us to its aid today.
At this time in our history when we are especially sophisticated, every five or six seconds a child dies of hunger or preventable disease. It’s certainly not because we don’t have adequate resources to ensure that all have enough food to sustain their bodies. Former Republican Senator Mark Hatfield has named this (appropriately) a “lack of political will” on our part. He said,
We stand by as children starve by the millions because we lack the will to eliminate hunger. Yet we have found the will to develop missiles, capable of flying over the polar cap and landing within a few hundred feet of their target. This is not innovation. It is a profound distortion of humanity’s purpose on earth.
I wholeheartedly agree with Former Senator Hatfield; hunger is a profound distortion of humanity’s purpose on earth. As Christians, feeding the hungry is the first thing Jesus lists when he talks about the last judgement and who will be saved: those who see the hungry and feed them (Mt. 25).
On the home page of Bread for the World’s website (a partner of JustFaith Ministries), these seven wonderful words greet you when you arrive on their site: We can end hunger in our time. Bread for the World believes ending hunger is possible. Former Senator Hatfield seems to believe ending hunger is possible. I and the rest of the JustFaith Ministries staff believe ending hunger in our time is possible. Please join us in becoming advocates who are called to the aid of all those who hunger; advocates who not only believe ending hunger is possible… but who muster up the will to do it.