John 20:19-31 “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jeff Moore, preaching)
On my best health days, it seems, I think about food as fuel. Something my body needs to do the things I must do – the growing, working, resting, relating – all the stuff of life. On my worst health days, it seems, food is something else. It’s something to calm or soothe me. It’s something to covet. It’s something I hoard. On my best faith life days, it seems, God’s Spirit is something I receive. I open my life to its presence, and I trust that it is God’s good gift. I feel its power to animate me to love God and to love and serve others. On my most difficult faith life days, it seems, God’s spirit is something to try to take, to attempt to manipulate, or to complain about because it feels like it’s just not there. Jesus told the disciples to receive the Holy Spirit he was giving them. What an act of trust it is to receive God’s spirit! What would it mean for us to work toward regular moments of receiving? To trusting God enough to open ourselves to God’s spirit moving through us? How might that fuel our faith lives?
Thomas seems to spend a lot of time “giving” conditions, explanations, doubts. What might it mean to let those go?