III Easter: Receive ye the Holy Ghost

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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