Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
Several ideas have floated through my brain while figuring out what to write for this post for Blogging the Lectionary and Pentecost Sunday.
I got two thirds of the way done with a West Side Story parody called "Sophia" all the while knowing that, clever lines and all, this was just a distraction.
Then I kept singing "God You Make All Things New", the song we've sung the past couple of Easter Vigils:
God you make all things new
Breathe your Spirit into us
Which often ends up as a help into writing but I think this time made a change from singing show tunes.
As my focus has been the gospel of John, why drop it now just because the Acts passage is so much flashier? But what could I say? Starters for Sunday from the Church of Scotland came in handy. (Although I can't find the file I read there earlier in the week.)
The opening of the Gospel has the disciples hiding: they know the tomb is empty but they are afraid that they'll be crucified next.
In the Western world today, we are safe from such persecution: our faith is not a death sentence like it is in other countries.
So how can we, with our first world problems, really understand how the disciples feel?
When I'm afraid and start worrying about something, it is hard for me to let it go. I could imagine the worst possible thing that could happen, something ridiculously impossible, and I'll start feeling like it could really happen. The fear is real and crippling.
It's hard to find a way out. (I am getting better at this, thank goodness.) My husband says it's because my brain isn't producing glutamate (or something) fast enough.
I can relate to the disciples: living under an oppressive Roman regime, it's difficult to change your mindset when you're stuck in that place for so long.
Then Jesus appears in the locked room and fear is defeated. When Jesus works like that in my life, I feel a kind of peace and contentment fill me.
"Peace be with you." (John 20:19)
Even in hiding, either physically or mentally, we cannot hide from love.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:7-12 NIV)
We cannot hide from the love that heals and transforms.
(I finished "Sophia." Debating on whether to share it, however.)