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Saturday, May 16, 2020 – Acts 1:6-26: The Assembly

As we refrain from gathering to ward off the virus that drives us apart,

we return to a post written when we were free to assemble. 

paper-church[1]I have just walked in to my classroom after having spent the morning with my grandson at his school for Grandparents and Special Friends Day and I see these words written on the whiteboard which were not there yesterday afternoon when I left:

I

small_red_heart[1]Liturgy

I do not know what moved this student to write these two words and this symbol in my room . . . but I can safely believe that the Holy Spirit moves among us today in a special way.  When we strive for discipleship we must make room for the Holy Spirit. When we experience discipleship we will want to gather in assembly.  When we rest in discipleship . . . we also celebrate.

Today’s Noontime is about a special time when the early Christian church we know today was beginning to form.  Yesterday evening we finished our study of 1 Corinthians in which Paul addresses the confusing issues of his day which are many of the same ones that confound us today: immorality, worship of things other than God, lack of love among church members, and full participation in pagan society to the detriment of full participation in the Christian community.  Paul reminds us that how and what we commemorate say more about us than what we wear or where we work and live.  When we celebrate personal happiness and self-fulfillment we miss the bigger offer – membership in a universal, eternal body, the body of Christ.

In today’s reading we see Jesus take leave of his followers, promising to send his holy emissary to accompany them until his return.  They return to Jerusalem – the holiest city they know – and they go to the Upper Room – the last place they celebrated before Jesus’ crucifixion.  They gather, and they turn to God and to one another to commemorate in thanksgiving the gift of new life they now understand.  They pray, and they make plans for the future as they imagine it to be.

When we assemble for any occasion, we might take a look at who and what surround us.  The physical places we go to celebrate as well as the people with whom we mingle indicate the spiritual choices we make.  When we feel happiest, where do we want to go to share the Good News?  When we feel alone, on whose shoulder do we want to lean?  When we have something to praise and give thanks for, how do we want to remember it? When we shelter during pandemic, how do we assemble and gather, and what are the choices we make?

When we assemble, we will want to give thanks, to pray, and to remember who has saved us.  And we will want to remember to celebrate.

Tomorrow, the celebration of deliverance . . .


Image from: http://lifeincolour.com/?p=629

Adapted from a reflection first written on November 20, 2009.

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