Jesus Promises to Send His Holy Spirit, the Helper
Cantate means “sing.” This is the first word of Psalm 98, appointed for this day. Psalm 98 is a joyous psalm that ascribes glory and praise to God for His great redemptive work—giving His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world, and then to rise to new life on the first Easter morning. Christ is the Right Hand and Holy Arm of God, God in the flesh. Christ is the Righteousness revealed to the nations. Christ is our salvation, “the salvation of our God.” By God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we, like all Christians of all time, are saved. Those who follow the propers carefully will note that the Gospel readings appointed for Jubilate (last week), Cantate (this week), and Rogate (next week) are all from the sixteenth chapter of St. John.
Today we get to sing to the Lord the “new song” born from the marvelous things and the salvation Our Lord openly shows (Psalm of the Day). This salvation is the Holy Spirit who is the “good and perfect gift from above” (Second Lesson). The Spirit’s salvation is to guide us into all truth (Gospel). And by the Spirit we pray the Father that we may “love what you command and desire what you promise” (Collect).
The paradox of Christ is that he is both Lamb and Shepherd. He saves his flock, by shedding his blood as the Lamb sacrificed for sin. This is the Good Shepherd we needed: God in the flesh, sacrificed for our atonement. But now, washed in his blood, the white robed host is led by the Shepherd-Lamb to the springs of living water and a life where everything that once was wrong is made right forever.