Fear dominated the evening of the “first day of the week”. Fifty days later, a similar gathering, maybe even in the same room, is against the background of one of the three great pilgrimage events in Israel. The comforting ritual embedded in the consciousness of the people is about to be given enhanced meaning…the panic of “Are we next?” “Will they do to us what they did to him?” “Where did He go?” “What did the months of journey really mean?” All gives way to a joyous proclamation of “the marvels of God”.
Our slow release from confinement with the associated concerns and fears about this present, but in many ways unknown, virus is a little like the disciples’ journey over those fifty days. For many, a time of bewilderment. For others, the inability to mourn the death of a loved one, to visit the sick or dying relative, or to hold the new grandchild, has had a huge impact. To wake, up day by day, separated from our neighbours, friends and family, into a world filled with a seemingly spiral of violence and indifference to the suffering of people is a challenge to process and make sense of. In a world view, not much different to waking up in the tumultuous times of Roman domination, particularly when there were constant elements trying to overthrow such imposition.
We need Pentecost again!
There are all sorts of service to be done!
Let us renew our understanding of “the particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person”, particularly…to ME!
Let ME be an agent of that same Spirit to renew the face of the Earth.
P.S. John Joseph Therry remained in Sydney for 40 plus years roaming around the cast colony and Phillip Conolly was sent to Tasmania to minister in those initial awful days.