One of the most comforting passages from the John’s gospel is the lectionary reading for this week. Jesus’ words are such a calming salve that John 14 is the section singled out as the preferred Gospel reading for funerals in the United Methodist Book of Worship. The offer of God the Father and Jesus coming to be with those who follow Jesus, the peace and absence of fear Jesus offers, the authority Jesus has over the devil, the announcement of Jesus’ return… it is all wonderful! Especially so when we recognize that Jesus knows the time of his crucifixion is coming quickly and the disciples will be confused and afraid. In their darkest hour, these are the words he wants them to dwell on. These are the promises Jesus makes to them when he is running out of time.The promise that grips my heart this time of year is the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. In just a few more weeks we will celebrate Pentecost. We will remember how fifty days after Easter the disciples gathered and the Spirit of God was poured out on them. This week we get a foretaste of that event. I don’t really like surprises. I don’t dislike surprises either. But I do like anticipation. The run up to big events is a lot of fun, whether it is a religious Holy Day, a family holiday, or a major national or world event. Think about the fun we all have preparing for Christmas, or the Super Bowl, or the Olympics. Jesus offers that to his disciples in the reading for this week, in his promise about the Holy Spirit. Teacher and reminder are two of the great roles of the Spirit. When the disciples are afraid and confused after Jesus has risen, they will not be orphaned. His teachings will continue to be enlivened in their lives. That is something worth anticipating!