THE COMFORTER HAS COME – Kenneth Osbeck

            Kenneth Osbeck has been a great gift to the church. He taught for thirty-five years, first at Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, and then at Grand Rapids Baptist College and Seminary. He also served as music director for Children’s Bible Hour, Radio Bible Class, and several churches. He authored several books, the most notable are the series of books in which he takes a great hymn of the faith and develops a rich devotional reading based on that hymn. The following is based on Frank Bottome’s old hymn “The Comforter has Come.” Enjoy!

See you Sunday … We will be in John 14 again

Pastor Byron

THE COMFORTER HAS COME

Frank Bottome, 1823–1894

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. (John 14:16)

One of the important days worthy of every Christian’s recognition is Pentecost Sunday—an observance of the advent of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost Sunday occurs 50 days after Easter. The church color for this season is red, and the symbol is generally that of the dove. Other symbols for the Holy Spirit include:

Oil—It is the Holy Spirit that anoints and sets a believer apart for service.

Water—It is the Holy Spirit that cleanses us from the power of sin.

Light—It is the Holy Spirit that guides us in steps of truth and righteousness.

Fire—It is the Holy Spirit that purges and sets our devotion for God ablaze.

Wind—It is the Holy Spirit that refreshes our often parched hearts.

Jesus also referred to the Holy Spirit as the counselor—the Comforter—the “paraclete”—the one who would reside in each believer and always be ready to help and guide in times of need.

Following Christ’s resurrection, the disciples’ awareness of the Holy Spirit in their lives changed them from fearful, discouraged disciples into powerful proclaimers of the good news. This same awareness and appropriation of the Holy Spirit’s enabling power is still a most necessary ingredient for effective representation of our Lord.

The text for this hymn, written by Frank Bottome, an American Methodist pastor, first appeared in the hymnal Precious Times of Refreshing and Revival in 1890.

O spread the tidings ’round, wherever man is found, wherever human hearts and human woes abound; let ev’ry Christian tongue proclaim the joyful sound: The Comforter has come!

The long, long night is past; the morning breaks at last, and hushed the dreadful wail and fury of the blast, as o’er the golden hills the day advances fast! The Comforter has come!

O boundless love divine! How shall this tongue of mine to wond’ring mortals tell the matchless grace divine—that I, a child of hell, should in His image shine! The Comforter has come!

Chorus:The Comforter has come, the Comforter has come! The Holy Ghost from heav’n—the Father’s promise giv’n; O spread the tidings round, wherever man is found—The Comforter has come!