Every culture has a story of beginnings. It’s a kind of mythology that says how things got started, and why the world is the way it is. The Bible actually has two – this one, and the story of the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve and the serpent. It’s not meant to be history, or science, or fact. It’s a narrative that describes the world we live in, and tries to explain how it got to be that way – the goodness, and the evil – and how it was meant to be...
May we all find the right environment for the Spirit to blow, and for the energy and fire to take hold in your life.
May we all do the work to arrange our lives around Christ’s love, hope, and new life.
May we find the right environment for lives to be changed, for Christ’s resurrection to be heard, and lived out and spread.
And May the Spirit always move here and so hearts will always be set on fire.
The disciples are at a turning point… Jesus has left them, and the Holy Spirit has not come. They are betwixt and between, at loose ends, unsure of themselves, with nothing to do but wait. There’s no timetable, no estimated time of arrival for the Spirit to come. Jesus told them where to wait, but not how long. There they are, trying to absorb the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection and appearances to them… The world has become a completely different place, and they don’t know what’s coming next.
"...Life after death? That’s a foreign concept entirely. To Greek minds the afterlife would be “a mystical absorption into the cosmos,” not a resurrection from the dead. Tombstones often had the words inscribed, “I was not. I was. I do not care.” That tells you something, doesn’t it? The Athenians didn’t even know what to make of the word “resurrection” – they thought it was the name of a goddess, since it was a feminine noun. They didn’t know what Paul was talking about.
But what Paul knew was this: In God’s design, we are created “so we might seek God, perhaps even feel their way toward him and find him.”
In my struggles with this one sentence of scripture, I wonder if I’m guilty of making the whole thing more complicated than it needs to be. When Jesus says, “No one gets to the father except through me” maybe all he is saying is, “Sometimes it’s hard to connect with God – I will be with you to help you do that– I’m going to help you – I will be with you.” Jesus knows how much we need company. He knows that if someone is holding our hand, we can bear just about anything.