Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Hallelujah!
This is our Easter cry, but not quite the cry that the disciples were heard saying, at least not yet!
As we move into the 40 days that lead up to Pentecost Sunday and the birthday of the church, we will be spending time in the Acts of the Apostles. This time leading up to Pentecost is a time when the Spirit, the Paraclete is promised to the disciples, and to us. Jesus tells the disciples that they will be baptised with the Holy Spirit, and in the near future.
As we explore the happenings after Resurrection Sunday we will walk with the disciples as they sort themselves out now that they are on their own. The promise of this Spirit brings many things, and we’ll be looking at some of the aspects of the Spirit – healing, reconciling, uniting, loving and living. Then on Pentecost Sunday we rejoice in the coming of the Spirit and the gifts this coming also brings.
During this time, we hear about the disciples as they gathered in the upper room. This upper room was their place of solace, protection and safety. They were locked in this room for 40 days – sounding a bit familiar? I am continually amazed at the way our readings are speaking to us today.
During this time in the upper room the disciples had the time to work out just what the resurrection of Jesus meant to them. How did it change the world? How did it change their world and what were they going to do now? Enforced isolation can give us space to sit and reflect, to stop and think about the basics of our faith and the importance that faith has in our day to day lives.
What do you need to help you reflect and strengthen your faith? You’ve got the isolation, what other resources do you need? In the time leading up to Resurrection Sunday Kelly and I ran some studies entitled “Claiming our Faith”. The idea behind these was to help people come to the place of baptism, confirmation or re-affirmation of faith. We looked at a number of our core documents and creeds or affirmations.
Ben Myers, in his book “The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to Ancient Catechism” (this means teaching), declares that the disciple who makes the most progress is the one who remains at the beginning. This is where we are, at the beginning of the universal church, so we’re going to explore our foundations a bit more as we head towards Pentecost Sunday.