July 28, 2008

Coming and Going

John 20:19-23

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:21


For the last vertical habit we will be focusing on this month, we will be thinking about what it means to say to the Lord, “Send me.” At the beginning of The Silver Chair, one of the novels in C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, Jill Pole and Eustace Scrubb travel to Narnia in an unusual way: they are carried by the breath of Aslan, the great Lion, who stands high on a cliff and blows them there. It's an image taken from the words Jesus speaks in today's Scripture reading: “?As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them.” The breath of the Lion of Judah not only fills the disciples with Jesus' resurrected life; it is also the force that carries them out into the world to continue his mission. Someone once said that the life of the church consists of a kind of breathing in and breathing out. When believers gather for worship, they inhale, taking into themselves the life and power of God. And when the worship service ends, they are sent into the world, where they exhale, breathing out the same life and power they have received. That's a nice way of looking at the life of the church. The warm breath of the Lion?that is, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit?fills us with joy. And he sends us into the world God wants to bless through us.

“Breathe on me, Breath of God.” Fill me with your life and your peace. Wherever you send me, use me to share your love with others. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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