As we clambered onto our green vinyl couch in the 1960s to watch our usual dose of ABC, we always knew that Friday was different.
On Friday, our five days straight of watching Adventure Island—for 30 minutes after school each day—would end. There would be no Miser Meanie, no Fester Fumble, no Clown and, worst of all, no clever Liza for the whole weekend. It was awful.
At the end of each Friday’s show, the cast would stand in a circle, hold hands and sing: ‘The time has come to say goodbye. It’s sad, we know the reason why, we must bid farewell for a day or two.’ For a dose of nostalgia, why not Google the clip.
Sunday nights weren’t much better.
Disneyland would bring great stories to life—Snow White, Mickey Mouse, and Greyfriars Bobby, the Scottish terrier who slept on his master’s grave. At around 6.45 pm, Mum would come in and tell us it was time for us to go to The Salvation Army meeting (in those days we thought God was only around at 11 am and 7 pm for Sunday meetings).
The TV would go off. We’d moan and complain, saying it wasn’t fair—we wouldn’t know how the story would end. It wasn’t finished yet!
Life’s like that.
Right in the middle of the story, when things are happening, we can feel that what we know is being elbowed out of the way. Often it’s the things that are out of our control that make our story seem unfinished—health concerns, relationship problems or work issues.
Changes happen and we don’t know how the story will end.
When Jesus told his disciples that he was going to leave them (John chapter 14), they complained, ‘We don’t want you to go! The story isn’t finished!’ But Jesus promised that he would not leave them ‘like orphans in a storm’ (John chapter 14, verse 18).
He promised that when he left, the Holy Spirit—the comforter, the helper, the advocate—would be there for them, always, and the story would continue. The Holy Spirit is given to guide us, to help us grow and develop, and bring understanding of God’s transformative love.
Paul wrote in the Bible that ‘the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (Galatians chapter 5, verse 22). The Holy Spirit helps us keep our eyes on things that matter and stay connected with each other and with God.
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us in the middle of all the things which change in our lives so that we can know ‘peace of mind and heart...the peace the world cannot give’ (John chapter 14, verse 27).
The Holy Spirit is the reassurance that Jesus’ story continues.