Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The Stations of the Resurrection--Seventh Station--Jesus Gives his Disciples his Peace and the Power to Forgive Sins
("Jesus Breathes His Spirit Upon the Disciples," by Hanna Cheriyan Varghese)
The Seventh Station--Jesus Gives his Disciples his Peace and the Power to Forgive Sins
Leader: O Risen Christ, Light of the world, we adore you;
People: You breathed your living Spirit upon those who loved you.
The disciples sat in a locked house, discussing a million things with each other, in a slightly more hopeful tone of voice, but things still felt dangerous--so they discussed the events surrounding the Resurrection in a locked house. The rest of the world still seemed pretty uncertain to them.
Suddenly, in the middle of their discussion, Jesus appeared. "Peace be with you," he told them. As he revealed his hands to pull part of his robe aside to show them his wounded side, they recognized him, and as he put his hands out to them to be welcomed they literally rushed towards him in the biggest group hug one can imagine. Even in a locked house, he had come to them. Imagine all the embracing and hair-tousling that probably ensued--and some probably simply held his hand in both of theirs, looked in his face, and cried.
Jesus very likely hung on every embrace, feeling their hearts beat within their chests, hearing them breathe, and feeling their wet tears on his own face. He probably cried a few joyful tears of his own--he SO loved this group. Suddenly, a warm gentle breeze surrounded them, and they felt the breath of the Holy Spirit in each exhale of Christ's breath. Yes, they were still in a locked house, but they began to feel less "locked up" themselves.
Leader: Each time Jesus exhaled, the Holy Spirit wafted across the room,
People: Each time the disciples inhaled, they felt the Holy Spirit within them.
Leader: Let us pray.
(a brief period of silence is observed.)
O living and breathing God,
Sometimes when we are locked within
the prison of our own fears,
we forget that all we have to do is breathe,
to discover you are with us.
We think we have to come up with elaborate ideas
to serve you and do your will,
when all we had to do
is simply inhale what is already in the room.
Remind us, dear Lord,
to simply breathe and recognize your presence in our breath.
As our breath, mixed with yours, leaves our bodies,
teach us to merely follow it where it goes,
leading us to be where we need to be,
in a life led for your Son's glory.
Leader: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
People: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!