You Can, You Can, You Can (Pentecost)

Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you”. Then he showed them his hands and side. The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting, “Peace to you”. Then he took a deep breath and breathed on them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said.
(John 20: 20 – 22)

When I think of Pentecost I think of teaching my younger sister to ride her bike. It was about this time of year many years ago that she was ready to try riding without training wheels. Like millions of other people I put in my time coaxing my sister to trust the process and just keep pedalling – precisely when she was sure she was going to crash. But I spent an extra long-time running alongside my sister, holding the back of the seat with her saying, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t”. While I was huffing and puffing, “You can, you can, you can”.

At a certain point I realised that I just needed to let go so that she could let go and trust the law of physics that says, “objects in motion tend to stay in motion”. Jesus knew this, too, and it was only when he let the disciples go (dramatically at the Ascension) and they sat alone feeling like they’d been abandoned that they received an amazing gift – the Holy Spirit within them that told them they can, they can, they can. I know there are places in my own faith life where fear gets the better of me. And yet if I only let go and trust, God’s Holy Spirit will empower me to experience the freedom that my younger sister felt, flying swiftly down the street to where life abundant awaited her.

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