Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Birthday!

Dear Parishioners,

As we move from the Ascension to Pentecost, it is quite a marvel what the apostles went through. Imagine just fishermen trying to make a living, plying the waters around Canaan. Probably simple people, not greatly political, not rich, not well educated. They encounter this man who captures their attention and interest by his calling. They risk and leave their family and boats, their livelihoods, to follow him. And imagine yet what they have seen—the miracles, the healings, the bread appearing out of empty baskets, the calming of the sea, the wondrous stuff that God can so easily do. There is also the political tension, the Pharisees and the Authorities. Yet throughout it all, Jesus is calm and directed, passionate and wise, loving and challenging. They feel things about him and themselves they never knew. And then there is Jerusalem, the high place of power, the history, people, the foreboding predictions by Jesus himself. They are given the Bread of Life, the wine that is Blood, the commandment to love, the instruction to be last not first. Then a whirlwind of joy turned protest and condemnation and ultimately the Cross, only one could witness. But through the locked doors of their fear, God rescues them, showing them his hands and side. They are taken to a new realization, a new confidence and a new teaching. My, have they been on a wild ride! He leaves them rising into the sky, and they are by the sea again. But now with a different mission, a task so large as to be incomprehensible. “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.” With tongues of fire, they take it on. (Acts 2:1-11)

And they hand it over to us! And we are bewildered and confused, elated and wild with hope. We say “yes” and breathe in God’s peace and love, so that with God’s grace and the power of the Spirit, we may keep the faith and add to the number of the baptized. We are God’s new “fishers of men!”

Deacon Steve