Archive for April, 2012

III Easter: Receive ye the Holy Ghost

April 22, 2012

The risen Jesus appears again to the disciples, shut away and cowering from the world.  Having shown them his wounded yet powerfully living body, he breathes on them, saying, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Just as God breathed over chaos at creation, so God in Christ breathes over this rather unlikely crew, sending them out into the world to forgive sins and spread the renewed creation.  God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son.  Eternal life is not assent to a set of propositions, but a sharing in the breath of the Spirit, the blood of Christ flowing in our blood (as Mother Ann once said), his witness borne in our own bodies.

The LCC collect for today asks that the earth may be filled with thy glory even as the waters cover the sea. Easter is not an escape from this world to another dimension, or an escape within the world by locking ourselves away in private as the disciples were doing.   Our job is to participate in the filling of the earth with God’s glory, the remission of sins (or, more mysteriously, the retention of them), and the giving of the eternal life which overcomes the world.  This Easter may we let the wind of the Spirit lift us up and carry us into the world as its agents, filled with gladness and Christ-given peace.

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Happy Birthday, Father Paul

April 18, 2012

April 18 is the 108th Birthday of my favorite “cosmic roustabout,” Earl W. Blighton, a.k.a. Father Paul, founder of the Holy Order of MANS.  In Chapter 4 of Father Paul’s Book of Activity, we read:  He that would look for the lost lamb, let him go among the strays.  Blighton certainly did this, moving through 1960s San Francisco, gathering up young people and forming them into a spiritual order.   One of his associates described the early members as “a bunch of street kids and hot chicks.”   Not exactly promising material for the priesthood, perhaps, but the power of the Spirit should not be underestimated.   Here are a few more lines from the Book of Activity, a collection of revelations received by Blighton (whose grammar did not always keep pace with his spiritual insight):  The way is long but the words must be short for him who would teach My children in this day. For him who would teach My children must be ready to cure their insanity….  For the Way of the Teacher is to beset by love.  (Chapter 5)

Grateful memory

April 16, 2012

In the LCC collect for Low Sunday, we pray that we “may never lose our grateful memory of [God’s] unchanging love….”   Here in the Easter season, we renew again that grateful memory of the one who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, the one whom God raised up on the third day.  

Like the disciples bound for Emmaus, too often our eyes are holden.  We commune together and reason, but we fail to see and know the one who already stands in our midst.   We expound the scriptures, we know all that the prophets have spoken, we know the women said the tomb was empty and Jesus was alive.  And still our eyes are holden.  In this paschal season, the message is not enough.  We seek to know the living Christ of whom it speaks.

And so we draw near to the memorial Jesus left us, bread and wine given with the command to remember him, bread and wine used to make eucharist… thanksgiving.   Our table is set with grateful memory.   As we break the bread, it is more than simple memory.  Our eyes are open and we know Christ, who feeds us.   Knowing his presence and his love, we must proclaim The Lord is risen indeed!