Have you read the Day After story lately? Of just what happened after Jesus rose from the dead. (Do you ever just get startled when you read words like that? It is really mind blowing…)
The soldiers see an angel. They faint. The women see Jesus. They weep and then run to the other followers. Then Jesus begins a series of appearances. From the Emmaus road download to two lucky listeners to the amazing 500 witnesses, He was out and and about. Seeing and being seen. And I was pondering something. Even when Jesus appeared to them, He was instructing and teaching of more to come. What else could there be after the dead being raised to life?
Fasten your seat belts. This could get sticky….
Lent has always nettled me a little. The idea of fasting and “denying” oneself as a way to prepare for the death of Jesus always has seemed out of whack. I didn’t know why until this week. Of course it is a beautiful tradition. Of course fasting is a beautiful discipline. Of course we prepare our hearts each year to remember the suffering of our Lord.
But. Let’s look at what Jesus said. Even He rebuked the religious leaders of His day who wondered why His followers were not fasting. Jesus replied that you don’t fast when you are at the party. You fast when the party is over. Or perhaps when the next party is getting ready to come. While we talk a lot about fasting and somberness prior to the Resurrection, it is only AFTER the Resurrection that Jesus instructed His followers to pray, and fast and watch. What were they told to get ready for?
The Coming of the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Trinity. Father, Son and Spirit.
Makes me wonder why we don’t throw a party celebrating Pentecost like we do Easter and Christmas. The Spirit is worthy of receiving, worthy of a party, worthy of preparing our hearts for. Makes me wonder about fasting now, after Easter, in anticipation of Pentecost. Fasting is, after all, a way to make room for more of God. It is a way to weed out those little affections that crowd out the Real love.
Think about it. There is more to come on Living in Third Person.