Post date: Mar 26, 2013 3:44:40 PM
Ah, spring is in the air! After a long cold winter I love the spring time. OK, maybe I don’t really love the 35 mile an hour winds all that much. But I really do enjoy looking for signs of spring while out jogging or walking or puttering in the yard. It lifts my spirits to see buds forming on the trees, birds returning for the season and grass greening up. As I write this in mid-March, some crocuses and primroses are already blooming and daffodils and tulips are pushing up through the earth. Soon there will be other flowers and trees in bloom. I know it’s not safe to plant anything until Mother’s Day, but these are wonderful earth resurrection signs after the cold dormancy of winter.
In a much larger and greater way, Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of our Lord, is/was March 31st this year. Of course every Sunday is a little Easter, a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin, death and evil for us. But the Easter season in the church calendar is a full 7 weeks long. It’s a “week of weeks: fifty days: a jubilee” if you will, and goes clear through May 18th this year. Our first readings during the Easter season come from the book of Acts rather than the Old Testament. The full title of that book is the Acts of the Apostles: the Actions of the Apostles. You might recall that “apostle” in Greek means “one who is sent out: one who is sent forth.” What did the apostles do after they had seen the risen Jesus? They powerfully preached and taught Jesus crucified and risen as the saving good news to any who would listen. They baptized a whole bunch of people. They prayed and studied together. They ate the Lord’s Supper together and shared their food and belongings. They acted through the power of the Holy Spirit. Some have said that the book should really be titled “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”, since no fruitful action would be possible without the leading and guiding of the Spirit. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit usually works through people: people who are sent forth in the name of Jesus Christ: people like us.
In the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit led the Apostles to cross boundaries and social barriers in order to share the saving good news of Jesus with other people. The Spirit urged Philip to run up to the chariot of an Ethiopian man and share Jesus with him (Acts 8). The Spirit urged Peter through a strange dream to go to the house of Cornelius, a Roman army officer, and share Jesus with him and his household (Acts 10). The Spirit led Paul on many missionary journeys after the risen Jesus convinced Paul to stop working against him and start working for him (Acts 9, 13-28). Let me challenge you to read through the Book of Acts during the Easter Season and then consider, “What is the Spirit leading me to do?”
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!