O King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father; for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
I had an English teacher who really did not like double negatives. But there are a few times when it just works. Did you notice the double negative in the prayer? We pray that God leave us “not without consolation.” I suppose the simplest way would have been to ask God to give us consolation. But that word has some negative connotations for us. After all, who wants the consolation trophy at a basketball tournament?
I am at that stage of life where my children are launching into their adult lives. It is hard to drop them off at airports and see them driving away to adventures which do not immediately involve their parents. Our lives have been bound together for so long and now they must be lived at some distance from one another. We delight in their maturation and grieve the loss of the children who made our house so active. I wonder what emptiness the disciples felt as they watched Jesus ascend into heaven. Did it not hit them until they finally returned to that upper room where they had eaten the Passover on Maundy Thursday or the place where Thomas had touched his hands and side?
We pray today that Jesus does not leave us alone, but that he sends the Spirit of truth whom He promised us. We pray this prayer on the other side of Pentecost and the outpouring of that Spirit. We would be very lonely and miserable today had Jesus not heard this prayer, prayed by Christians for the millennia of the church’s existence and if He had not answered it that first Pentecost and every day since. He has opened the floodgates of God’s Spirit and in a continual waterfall (Spirit-fall?) of the Holy Spirit, our lives have been comforted, enlivened, and blessed. Praise God, he knows what we need, listens to our prayers, gives us all good things, even if our grammar is not always so good.