Today is three of my four kids’ last day of school. Amy and I attended a sweet kindergarten performance, jumped up and down with joy, and have felt a renewing sense of freedom because all of the work of the school year has now been completed. The fruits of our labors - school lunches, homework, extra activities, patiently enduring the fights and tears (at least the school related ones) - can now be harvested in the restorative space of summer. We’re living in fulfilled time.
Liturgically and spiritually we’re living in fulfilled time as well, especially as Pentecost approaches this Sunday. We began the Church year with Advent anticipating the coming of our Lord Jesus in his glorious second coming and his birth at Bethlehem at Christmas. We saw him revealed to the Gentiles on Epiphany. We remembered our own mortality and death as Ash Wednesday led us into Lent - a time of fasting, pain, and suffering with our Lord. We meditated upon the cruel beauty of the Cross. We witnessed the empty tomb and remembered that all around us are signs of resurrection, the potential for life, renewal, and glory. We experienced the transformation of place, power, and prayer in the Ascension this past Sunday.
The marking of our liturgical time will be complete this Sunday with Pentecost. On this feast, we celebrate with expectation the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Jesus’ followers thus giving birth to the Church, God’s heavenly people living on earth. We also cry out for his Spirit to fill us afresh and anew.
But not only will our liturgical time be fulfilled, by the power of the Spirit, we live now in that same space of fulfillment, of God’s kingdom come in the person of the Holy Spirit who fills us, gives us power, makes us witnesses to our adoption as his sons and daughters to every tribe, language, tongue and nation. He does this to us collectively, the Church. He does this for us individually as members of his body.
So we live in fulfilled time now. The summer is here. We can rest in God’s provision for us. We can be restored by the Spirit who empowers us and makes us witnesses. We can be filled with power to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. Thanks be to God!