In the midst of the time between the celebration of the Ascension and the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost comes Exaudi, a Sunday of hopeful expectation. We need comfort in the midst of our sorrows and griefs, persecution and suffering. This is expected for all those who confess Christ’s name. What is unexpected is the gift of the Holy Spirit sent by the Father and bearing witness of Jesus. Indeed, Jesus given by the Spirit through the Word brings a comfort that the world cannot give.
(Apologies for the audio. The final few minutes were truncated where we considered the lack of comfort found in Moses and the Law, in good works and holy living. True comfort comes only by Jesus through His Spirit-given gifts of Word and Sacrament. He takes our eyes off our conscience and onto Jesus. He takes from us sin, death, and hell and grants us perfection, life, and eternity.)
It is true that the departure of Jesus unto the right hand of the Father broke the disciples’ hearts. Yet, it also true that Jesus had a better fellowship in store for them. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit is greater that mere earthly fellowship with Jesus because it gives spiritual comfort, eternal blessings, and joy that never ends.
The Spirit, the Comforter, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, every sinner included. For the Christian, He brings us great blessings: forgiveness of sins, Christ’s righteousness, and acquittal for Christ’s sake. “Christian righteousness is that Christ has gone to the Father, has poured our his blood for us on the cross, and has seated himself at the right hand of the heavenly Father. This is the article of the Creed concerning man’s justification, and we must know it well, in order to be able to protect and sustain ourselves against the devil, false doctrine, and our own conscience, all of which contend against this article. Amen” (Luther’s House Postils, p. 103.)