Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday in Easter 2: More than mental recall

Opening Sentence
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

Collect of the Day
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 16, 17

Lessons: Exodus 16:23-36, 1 Peter 3:13-4:6, John 16:1-15

In the Gospel readings this week, Jesus has had much to say about the coming of the Holy Spirit.

In promising the Holy Spirit to his disciples, Jesus said, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you" (John 14.26). To the Western mind, "remembrance" means mental recall, thinking back on some event from the past. In the Hebraic culture of Jesus and his first disciples, however, "remembrance" had a much deeper meaning.

To "remember," in the Hebraic sense, is to have the event constantly before you. In bringing to their "remembrance" all that Jesus had said to them, the Holy Spirit would not merely remind the disciples of Jesus' teachings. He would be keeping them aware of the very presence of Jesus constantly in their midst and leading them into a deeper understanding of the truth God the Father had revealed in and through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son.

God's true dwelling place is with his people, those redeemed by the blood of Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. In "remembering" the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, continues the work of salvation which Jesus began, to the end that, in all things, God may be glorified.

(JAG)

Breathe on Me, Breath of God