Reading: John 20: 19-23
Verses 21 and 22: Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you”. And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
We live by faith and not by sight. Our faith, like the faith of Christians for the past 2,000 years, is built upon the witness of others and on our own experiences with God in our lives. Faith is not fact so we grow in our faith as we interact with God, others, and the world.
Jesus’ disciples knew for a fact that Jesus had been crucified. At least one, John, had stood with the women and saw Jesus draw his last breath. Maybe some were still there when the body was taken down or when it was laid in the tomb. This experience was in stark contrast to the miracles they had been there to see. Bling men saw, lepers were healed, the dead came back to life. They saw and believed even though they could not explain how these things happened in human terms.
Their witness is partly what we build our faith upon. We have also done things and observed people do things that are difficult to explain in human terms. We see the couple who takes in the homeless man to help him get back on his feet. We observe God at work in his life as he becomes an active member of passing God’s love on to others. We have felt God’s presence there with us when life both draws it’s first breath and it’s last breath. We have been a part of surrounding the surviving spouse with a community of love and support. In these ways we too are becoming part of another’s faith story as we build our own.
“Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you”. And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. He comes and stands among us too. As the Holy Spirit lives and breathes in us, may we ever share the breath of life with others, so that they too may be filled with the Holy Spirit.