Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Finally! Blades of green grass are under our feet and vibrant green leaves are sprouting over our heads! Our winters are long, like an eternity of darkness covering the cold face of the deep. Closed in by heavy piles of snow and more days spent inside than outside feels suffocating and claustrophobic.
I love that Pentecost takes place in the Northern Hemisphere at springtime. The vibrancy of our spring reminds me of Acts 2:2 – “And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Pentecost and springtime are both a breath of fresh air!
God breathes life into all creation. The images in Psalm 104 speak of mountains made for wild goats, grass grown for cattle, trees watered abundantly, and birds building their nests. The psalmist speaks of God, “When you send forth your spirit (your breath), they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.”
In our gospel reading for Pentecost Sunday the risen Christ appears to the disciples behind closed doors. Imagine ten or more bodies clustered together in a small house. Perhaps in addition to lack of oxygen they were suffocating from the fearful events of the day. Jesus suddenly appears in their midst telling them not to be afraid but to go out, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
The season of Pentecost, the season of life and breath, the season of being sent out is upon us. Having breathed in God’s own breath let us leave our closed-in house and go outside. Take the spirit of the living Christ with you wherever you go… to the grocery store, the post office, the baseball game, and the doctor’s office. May you be a breath of fresh air to whomever you meet!
Yours in Christ,