I write this from my home office, during a time of “sheltering at home” due to a worldwide pandemic. Did I just write those words? Is this truly our reality? Every day I ask myself if all this is really happening. And every day it is.
And now it’s time to write of resurrection—Jesus’ Resurrection. Our liturgical year carries on as it has for centuries—during war, drought, flood, and plague. God’s people have continued the ancient cycles, prayers, and traditions, whether gathering in homes and churches or scattered far and wide during persecutions. Now, we followers of Jesus in so many countries of the world must keep our prayers and traditions apart from one another. We have the comfort of hearing one another’s voices on our phones and seeing one another’s faces through digital media. But we do feel one another’s physical absence, don’t we? This is what we feel in these Resurrection days.
Perhaps we can look at the story of Jesus’ first disciples. They endured his leaving through death; they were startled and changed by his Resurrection. They spent 40 days with him after that, hanging on his every word, I’m sure. Then he ascended, and they felt forsaken but did as he said: waited and prayed.
Then the Holy Spirit came, and Jesus’ followers were empowered as never before. He was no longer with them physically, but now the very Spirit of God dwelled within them—each of them—just as the Holy Spirit dwells in each of us. The Resurrection did more than conquer death; it made way for us to receive God’s Spirit and truly walk and talk and act and breathe as God’s children—the people of God.
During a time of much death, as with this pandemic, it is right for us to look toward our own resurrection rather than to fear dying. It is right to sorrow as we watch people die and to comfort them as they die, while believing that death is not the end for them.
But I believe that living the Resurrection in these days means that we embrace, nurture, and allow God to activate within us the Holy Spirit, so that we live as healers, truth-tellers, reconcilers, comforters, thinkers, and doers. May this time that seems so opposed to resurrection be shot through with our love, courage, strength, resilience, kindness, and the peace that passes human understanding.
God will show us what to do. The Spirit within will compel us toward the best thoughts, words, and actions. And we have the power to follow those promptings and fulfill God’s dreams for this world, in every time and place. That’s what it means to live the Resurrection.
I had an aha moment this morning when I read “…allow God to activate within us the Holy Spirit.” I can beat up on myself when I get lazy or self-concerned/protective. I think on the many times God has blessed me, spoken to me, even given me visions of Himself. And I know that I am not always behaving like the blessed person I am, giving the Enemy a chance to send me on a guilt trip. It seems to me this morning that a good practice would be to recognize that God has truly put His Holy Spirit within me and ask Him to activate the fruits and gifts within instead of always asking for more. I guess that would be a more thankful practice, and we all know how important thankfulness is to God!
Vinita , thank you for this beautiful reflection
It’s clear to me that the Holy Spirit guides you and commissions you to be a vessel of hope for us all
God bless you in your ministry and keep you safe
Dear Vinita, Here we are again one year later ! I am still reading your reflections and still trying to hang in there; keeping the Faith and spending a lot of time online; as I can no longer attend Church Services (Nothing to do with Covid) I spent most of Easter watching all Services on the internet. Better than nothing but missing so much being able to attend and be part of Community, So dear lady, I thank you once again for all your beautiful thoughts. A.M.D.G.
I love all your reflections to live by Vinita. The Spirit lives and breathes in me wherever I read a thought inspired by the Holy Spirit of Jesus.
Thank you again Vinita for such a comforting words, I get from you.
Thank you Vinita for this thoughtful post. Indeed, the joy of the Resurrection is far more contagious, than the fear of dying.
I appreciate and love your Reflections I did send a LONG comment yesterday& told you about what is happening herein MYCOUNTRY! However, I was told I had written all this before ??? I don’t understand How I could have done this. Keep up your beautiful writing. AMDG
I have just commenced reading St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. Even as Paul is in Rome and ‘in chains’ the epistle is overwhelmingly one of joy. He expresses his love for them, his hopes for them and his joy in them. The church at Philippi has supported Paul: emotionally, financially and practically through his missionary journeys and now while in Rome. That’s resurrection.
I am hanging on remembering that although they saw and experienced the resurrection of our Lord, they did still “mourn” having Him around in their daily lives and then they experienced His ascension. What a great reminder of it all. The disciples didn’t feel complete until the Holy Spirit came!
Thank you for the reflection!
Vinita, as usual, you give us words of wisdom and hope. Thank you so much for your ministry! God’s grace and protection to you and family.