Over the last few weeks, I have been very aware of the joy of Easter and specifically the dynamic of God’s love. Within the Trinity there is a constant on-going movement of self-giving love. This overflows not just in the act of making Creation but also in constantly sustaining it. In the Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost we get caught up in this movement a bit like a wind surfer who catches the movement of wind and wave in a moment that brings joy. Specifically at Pentecost this movement can be seen as the disciples leave the room where they have been praying caught up in the coming of the Holy Spirit and go out on to the street. There is an outpouring from them too. Peter shares all that has been revealed to them with the crowds. 2,000 on that first day also get caught up in the movement. This is the beginning of the Church. In the following months and years, the Church takes the Gospel from Jerusalem all around the Mediterranean and to the whole World.

Yesterday, I was still thinking about this but there was a change. On the train to London I was reading “From the Holy Mountain” by William Dalrymple. The description of his time in Beirut and Lebanon is uncomfortable reading. Christian sects and factions in recent times have visited terrible atrocities on one another. There are stories of men, who go to mass regularly and who, massacre their opponents, when the opportunity comes.

Various conversations during the day in London also reminded me of the brokenness of the world we live in and the failure of the Church to embody Christ’s self-giving love. Yet we still have this movement of God’s love moving outwards. As my tutor commented in the afternoon session, when Christ appears to the disciples in the Upper Room he carries his wounds. Indeed when he ascends to heaven he still carries these wounds. Humanity is taken up to the heart of God. That humanity is one that carries the wounds inflicted by the evil of this world: “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne.” Rev 5:6a.

We live in a broken world. This movement of the Holy Spirit is one of self-giving love that we can be caught up into, if we allow ourselves. In doing so we also make ourselves open to a World where the effects of sin wound and destroy. This movement brings joy only because Christ first died, assuming pain, suffering and death into himself and therefore healing it. The cross allows this huge movement of the Holy Spirit, which brings God’s love to us in a new way, a way that take sin the whole world, the whole of Creation.

Looking towards our Penetcost celebration I am aware that both these elements play a part. It is only through being caught up in the outward movement of the Holy Spirit that we can work with God in his healing of the World. Only when we feel the joy of being caught up in Christ’s love can we confront the evil that wounds this world.