With One Heart

 Pentecost red ribbons  They weren’t drunk. Although to most it sounded as if they were. They seemed to have been under the influence of some kind of spirits. And they were.

Jesus has appeared to the women, to Peter and the other disciples who came on shore to have breakfast with Peter and Jesus. Along with all the others he has been a presence to all those he loved in the world. Even Thomas who was not with the others, was given a chance to touch him in his wounded place. For like us, it is often in our wounded places that we touch and are touched by the presence of Christ.

It’s this presence that comes breaking through the walled barriers of the upper room on Pentecost. It is one of Jesus’ final manifestations after he came back from death. But it is not his physical presence but his Spirit that comes as fire upon the disciples. No closed doors, no walls, and not even their fears and doubts could keep the promised Spirit of Christ away from them. And it is Peter who realizes what is going on. Peter, who has gone through so much, been tested in his own fire, and the call to care for those he has been given, that is able to see that what has come upon them is the intoxication of the Spirit. The Spirit of Christ. In that same Spirit, the disciple who once ran away, now stands up. Peter has finally got it. He will keep the Lord in his sights for the remainder of his days. He knows now the way of life. Their fear and sorrow has turned to joy in the presence of the living Christ.

Jesus has stood on the hill just outside Bethany, blessing them and then appears to have arisen into the heavens, departing them this one last time.

Everyone in Jerusalem is overtaken by the sending of the Spirit, and they began to hear what the disciples were saying in their native tongues. It is the first convening of the United Nations. No translation or translator was needed. The disciples of Jesus would leave the upper room and the day of Pentecost and go out to live together with one heart. The heart of Christ.

With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the language of the soul was given voice. St. Paul talks about being in Christ. Being in Christ for him is about living in his Spirit. And when we live in the Spirit of Christ, who can come like fire, or like a gentle wind, or tug at your heart, as Paul says in Romans, the Spirit of Christ, has made a home in us. And abides with us in the absolute freedom of the Spirit which knows no barriers, no obstacles, no walls or door, not even death. Paul tells us we no longer live under the shadow of death. We now live in the unending time of Easter and of Pentecost. In the fire of the Spirit, in the heart of Christ.


Captivated by Christ – Part 2

 footprints     We have clues to the spirit, his spirit in the life left behind. In the traces, the footpath, that he marked in his earthly life and upon his return. Down the road to Emmaus, beside the lake, in the garden, in an upper room that could not bar the entrance of his spirit upon them. Tongues of fire. To set them aflame with a task that would lead many of them to an end like his. But with the full realization that theirs would not be an end, but merely an entrance to the life he showed them comes to those who find him and follow him, across the landscape of their lives, in the horizon of being just ahead that draws us, beyond ordinary things to do extraordinary things, but mostly that all too ordinary task of telling his story, telling him, telling Jesus, whom they now knew to be the Christ, because he came back. Because he did not leave them, because liberation was not from kings and oppressors, but the liberation of the heart that dwells in peace and seeks peace, prosperity and abundance for all, even ones enemies. Risky business this.
He continues in the symbols used to carry on his Spirit – in the story, his words and in the imagination of those who would remember the changes that he brought to their lives. We find him where our souls and psyches from which rise the timeless images of humankind. When we become the mangers in which he was laid at his birth, he is the becoming thing in us. He is born in the world and in us. This becoming thing is the Christ-Self within us – that which can become itself in God.
The poet Rilke says the advent of the coming thing in us is always just ahead, not behind. Rilke was a poet and a mystic. His sensibility of some deeper reality that he tries to convey appears in his poetry and his writing. Like Paul he shows us another way of seeing, another way of seeing reality. Yet very much the way of the natural world. It is the leadings, the promptings of his Spirit, and the gospel of our lives where Jesus the Christ becomes the author, a principle actor, agent, and the stories conclusion.
Albert Schweitzer said at the conclusion of his search for the real (i.e. the historical Jesus).
He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside. He came to those who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same words: ‘Follow me’ and sets us to the task which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the suffering which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience who He is.

All the writing, quotes, artwork and photography are the work of the author unless otherwise stated. Scripture readings are from the Jerusalem Bible.
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