“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
When John wrote his gospel he evidently didn’t have access to the stories used by Luke some years before. So he doesn’t include anything about a Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit with tongues as of fire and speaking in other languages. But he does know something about the Holy Spirit, and like Luke, he connects the coming of the Spirit with the presence of the resurrected Jesus. The same Spirit that had animated the ministry of Jesus was breathed by Jesus into his disciples as he sent them into the world to continue his God-given work of teaching and healing. It’s that same Spirit that is now enabling the followers of Jesus to do that same sacrificial, loving work even when we’ve been taken out of our church-going routines. Of course we’re missing the hugs and the choirs, and we’d love to be singing the old hymns together, but we don’t have to go to church to be the Church. The wind of God is blowing among us in new and fresh ways, and we’re discovering new tools to reach out with the good news of forgiveness and life. And as we’re weaned from our dependency on buildings and property, the Church of Christ is likely to be even more effective than ever.
Thought for the Day: How is the pandemic changing the Church?