“Can you hear me now?” could be a modern day counterpart to Deuteronomy 6:4. Both “Hear, O Israel” and “Can you hear me now?” are suggesting that there’s distance between two parties, which is hindering communication. To enhance communication humans invented the written word. Then other communication tools arrived as a means to spread the word, one of the most ground-breaking communication tools being the telephone. As we all know, the phone has extremely evolved over the years and is now a powerful global device connecting people all over the world. However, despite of all our efforts to overcome long distance there are still ongoing connectivity problems between people and especially between people and their Creator.
God’s message was spread orally for the longest time until it was written down. People could hear from God through prophets and priests or read about Him in handwritten scrolls. But when Jesus walked this Earth people could also touch Him. People would literally run into Jesus in Jerusalem’s temple, or while traveling on dusty roads, or while fishing on the Sea of Galilee. They could reach out and touch God by touching His Son. John wrote in his first letter: “We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life (1 John 1:1).”
The night before Jesus’ execution the disciples were very upset and sad. The prospect of losing Jesus deeply disturbed them. In His heart-to-heart-talk Jesus encouraged His followers. And since John recorded the entire conversation in his gospel we can read about it today. Jesus said to his grieving followers (John 16:5-7):“‘But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you [that Jesus was going to die and rise on the Third Day]. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate [aka Holy Spirit] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.’” Jesus further explained the role of the Holy Spirit with these words (John 14:16-17): “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.”
In other words, Jesus is saying here:
“You have to let me go and let me finish my mission! If you don’t let me go the Holy Spirit can’t come. Don’t be troubled – I won’t leave you stranded here all by yourself. God’s Spirit will come and explain everything to you.”
Today the Heavenly Father communicates to His children through His Holy Spirit. While the world cannot conceivably understand or receive Him, God’s children do. When God’s Spirit enters our heart He will reside in us; and as we make room in our hearts His presence inside of us will continue to grow. He’s the Breath of Heaven breathing truth inside of us and connecting us with God Almighty. We can hear God’s heartbeat. We can feel His love, His joy, and His pain. Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh. Our soul’s sails are moved by the wind of the Spirit, God’s Spirit – the whispering gentle Breath of Heaven!