You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
So that’s Easter out of the way. In the past three months we have celebrated the birth of Christ, the dark, soul searching days of Lent, the awful harrowing death on the Cross of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour and His glorious and joyous Resurrection. Now what?
The disciples must have felt like that in the days after that first Easter Day. For some time they stayed huddled in the upper room afraid of the consequences of appearing in public; being associated with Christ crucified. It is true that Jesus appeared to them on several occasions but it was clear to them that, whilst He was not a ghost, nevertheless He was not in human form. This must have disconcerted them even further! Yet the Gospel of Mark tells us: ‘Then He said to them “Go to every part of the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation”’ (Mark 16:15 NIV) Now they must have been really concerned. It was one thing to go about with Jesus whilst He was on this earth, teaching, healing the sick and proclaiming the Good News but to go out alone? Could they do that? Yet that was what He was calling them to do.
In the same way we need to remember that God has no hands, no feet, and no voice, thus like the disciples it is up to us to carry out His mission in this world. But again like the disciples we are most likely afraid; afraid of what people might think or say about us, afraid we might not be able to achieve what we set out to do. After all, we probably feel that we are not qualified. Now think about that. The disciples were simple uneducated men, fishermen, tax collectors and the like, and look what they were able to achieve. “Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the Apostles” Acts 5:12. But, of course, they were not on their own; alone they could do nothing but they had the power of the Holy Spirit with them (Acts 2:1). In the same way we are not alone for fifty days after Easter Day we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, a feast which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, on the ancient Jewish festival called the "feast of seven weeks" (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). So, like the Apostles, it is only with the Holy Spirit to guide us that we too can continue the work of God.
Let us then use the fifty days before Pentecost to take stock, to reflect upon what we are doing for God and to ask what He wants us to do for Him. Are we doing enough? Should we be doing more? What does He want us to do for him? Take some time from the busyness of the coming days to pray, to ask for God’s guidance through the Holy Spirit to do His Will; to make a difference for His Name's sake
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years