St. Andrews-Cheney Memorial Church
May 1997


What's In A Name?

Shortly before His arrest, Jesus gave the disciples a promise, the Holy Spirit would be sent to them. That promise was fulfilled fifty days after Easter on the Day of Pentecost. In His promise, Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you." (St. John 14:16,17 RSV)

Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Counselor. The immortal bard, William Shakespeare wrote that famous line, "What's in a name? that which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet." Regarding roses or human names, Shakespeare was right. But when we think of the Holy Spirit, the principle does not hold true. His name tells us volumes.

What is His name? The New Testament, written in Greek, refers to the Holy Spirit as the Parakletos. That is the name Christ used, as well as the apostles. This name, Parakletos, tells us both who the Holy Spirit is and what He does.

The noun parakletos means one called upon to intercede of help someone. The prefix "para" means to stand beside another. We use this in our words paramedic and paralegal, which refer to those individuals who stand beside or assist the medical doctor or the lawyer.

Jesus told the disciples that He was going away, but One would be sent to stand along side them for ever. This title, Parakletos, is a word so rich in meaning that no single English word captures its true sense. It has been translated Comforter and certainly the Spirit does stand beside us in our moments of sorrow and pain. Is is translated as Counselor, for truly divine counsel is given by the Spirit who is ever at our side. It has also been rendered Advocate in the sense of a defense attorney.

The verb form of the word parakletos tells us more precisely what the Holy Spirit does for the Christian. It speaks of three types of actions.

First, it means to exhort in the sense of teaching of directing someone. False teaching abounds and false teachers sprout up like mushrooms. The tragic stories of cults that make it onto the evening news are but the tip of the iceberg. Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as "the Spirit of truth." It was the Spirit who inspired the writers of the Bible -- it is God's truth to us. It is the Spirit who grants us understanding of the Scriptures and applies God's truth to our hearts, minds and lives. It is the Spirit who leads us in the truth, for if it were not for His directing hand we would all go astray.

The verb form of parakletos also means to encourage. It is the Spirit who inspires us to persevere, to go on even in the face of hardship and difficulty. He gives us strength and courage. St. Paul wrote, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words." (Romans 8:20) If it were not for the Holy Spirit encouraging us we would all give up. None of us would remain Christian for a day -- no, not even for an hour -- if it were not for the presence and power for the Holy Spirit. The trials may be severe and the temptations great, but the Spirit always stands by our side giving us the courage and strength we need to face anything that may come our way.

Thirdly, the great title parakletos means to comfort. This may be the most cherished concept of all. In our moments of sorrow and gloom, when all is dark and hopeless, the Spirit is there, at our side. He is there to cheer our hearts with His divine love. St. Paul was a man well acquainted with sorrow. In his service to Christ the apostle experienced every form of affliction; imprisonment, false accusations, stoning, hunger and thirst, betrayal, and finally martyrdom. However, in all of this St. Paul could write, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us." (Romans 5:3,4,5) In all of his sorrows Paul rejoiced. Why? Because of the presence of the Spirit who comforted him with love. No matter how dark the night may be, the Spirit is at our side.

What's in a name? Much, very much, if we are talking about the Holy Spirit. He is our Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, and Friend. And He will be so forever. Praise His holy name.

Frank M. Levi


Parish News

Easter morning began with a delicious breakfast prepared by the ladies of the Women's Guild. This was followed by a play "The Last Supper." The presentation was very well done and we thank all of those involved. They included:

Costume preparation Mary Fulk
Edwina Greco
Lights Philip Smith
Director Patty Levi

Servant Girl Annamarie Sellers
Narrator Loretta Sellers
Pianist Lorie Stultz
Simon, the Zealot Carl Spencer
Nathaniel or Bartholemew Elaine Spencer
Thaddaeus or Judas Edwina Greco
James, Son of Alphaeus Bob Fulk
Matthew Carla Smith
Andrew Barney Reagan
Philip Jeff Stultz
Judas Iscariot Diane Stultz
James, Son of Zebedee Mark Levi
John Frank Sellers
Peter Adam Sellers
Jesus Philip Smith

Mother-Daughter Salad Supper

When: May 9, 1997 - Friday
Where: Parish Hall
Time: 6:30 P.M.

Rummage Sale

Our Third Annual Rummage Sale will be held on Saturday, June 7, 1997. Donations of clothing and household items are being accepted. Sponsored by the Women's Guild.

Missionary of The Month

The Oommen Samuel Family
(Oommen and Mary)

Susan (USA) and Brian
Superintendent, Treasurer, Pastor, Bible Teacher
Reformed Episcopal Mission
Lalitpur, U.P. 284 403 INDIA

Ascension Day
May 8, 1997

Mother's Day
May 11, 1997

May 18, 1997

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