The gifting of the Spirit at Pentecost gives us the rawest and truest glimpse of God’s desire for the church: to be the living witness and testimony to the goodness of God in the world. Everything else the church does should be to better serve this purpose.
As Christ ascended, he promised to send *another* advocate, so that the work of God, the work done by Christ, the Word exemplified in Christ, the grace extended through Christ, the mercy offered out of Christ, the love witnessed because of Christ – that all these works may not cease to be, but that we, empowered by the Spirit, might continue these works, and to do even greater works still to come.
Tabitha’s resurgent life is no more for herself that Peter’s resurgent faith is for himself. Peter’s gift of faith brings about new life in Tabitha, which in turn brings about new life and new faith in the community.
In the midst of our worst seasons of life, we will find a resurgence of life when we slow down and gather with one another in the presence of the Risen Christ. Slow down, and share some grilled salmon by the fire pit.
Intervention is necessary when our way of thinking, our desires, our thoughts about right and wrong come in direct contradiction with God’s will as witnessed and proclaimed in the life, ministry, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
In an odd twist of humanity, we enjoy watching as other people fail. Perhaps this is why we focus on Peter’s sinking into the water. But we should not be so quick to watch his demise; he did after all walk on water. There’s a lot to be learned from Peter’s brief experience defying gravity, and we might be the more faithful for focusing on his success than his failure.
Too often, we try to claim that if one is to be welcomed into the Kingdom of God, they must act, think, feel, look, and be like us. Yet, God’s will claims our limited knowledge is just that, limited. To be faithful to God’s will, we must be resilient in our humility, to acknowledge that God is definitive for justice, and that we must humble ourselves to receive God’s will as truth.
When we only do what we do because of surface level rationale like, “the Bible says so,” we tend to be dis-interested or marginally engaged. Knowing why we do something is necessary for deep faithfulness. This is vitally true for serving others. If we don’t know why we serve, can we really serve well?
Easter is not a call to return to the way things were. It is a reminder that in Christ’s resurrection, God’s love wins out over death. It is an invitation to see ourselves redeemed in the reflection of God’s grace, as we hear our name called by the risen Lord, that we may go forth to share the good news, that Christ the Lord is risen today!
Too often we play a guessing game with Christ’s identity, in which we force our perceptions and our desires of a Messiah upon Christ. But Christ didn’t come just for you, Christ came for all people, so stop claiming an infallible opinion of the Messiah, or you’ll be rebuked, just like Peter.