Thoughts on The Journey Between Easter and Pentecost

 On the third appearance to the disciples after His resurrection, the final words from Jesus to Peter in this Third Sunday of Easter's Gospel reading from John are
 "Follow Me." 

Click here for this Sunday's reflections.

The coming week's first readings from the scriptures are a change from the usual Old Testament readings and speak about the life of the early church and the struggles of the disciples to spread "The Good News" of Christ against rising opposition and persecution.

 These readings from the Acts Of The Apostles are juxtaposed with the gospel readings that take us through the various ways Jesus prepares His disciples for His departure from earth into heaven at The Ascension, and His promise that He will send them the gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

I'll Walk Beside You and Peace on Earth
 Luka Bloom 

 In years past, Pentecost was celebrated with greater solemnity than it is today. In fact, the entire period between Easter and Pentecost Sunday was known as Pentecost (and it still is called Pentecost in the Eastern churches, both Catholic and Orthodox). During those 50 days, both fasting and kneeling were strictly forbidden, because this period was supposed to give us a foretaste of the life of Heaven !
I don't know what these final days with Jesus must have been like, but I can only imagine. 
Perhaps it was a mixture of excitement, elation and foreboding of loss, a burgeoning anxiety of what was now expected of them, a deepening sense of the mission they were being called to as individuals and as a community. Christ invites them and all of us to an awakening of deep trust in God, to prayer and belonging, a response that calls for an opening of hearts and a willingness to go ever deeper into the unknown mysteries of God's creation, working in all of us.

This poem by David Whyte and the beautiful song Listen To The River, by Luka Bloom both speak to me of this part of the journey, between Easter and Pentecost.

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Song For the Salmon 

For too many days now I have not written of the sea,
nor the rivers, nor the shifting currents
we find between the islands

For too many nights now I have not imagined the salmon
threading the dark streams of reflected stars,
nor have I dreamt of his longing
nor the lithe swing of his tail toward dawn

I have not given myself to the depth to which he goes,
to the cargoes of crystal water, cold with salt,
nor the enormous plains of ocean swaying beneath the moon.

I have not felt the lifted arms of the ocean
opening its white hands on the seashore,
nor the salted wind, whole and healthy
filling the chest with living air.

I have not heard those waves
fallen out of heaven onto earth,
nor the tumult of sound and the satisfaction
of a thousand miles of ocean
giving up its strength on the sand.

But now I have spoken of that great sea,
the ocean of longing shifts through me,
the blessed inner star of navigation
moves in the dark sky above
and I am ready like the young salmon
to leave his river, blessed with hunger
for a great journey on the drawing tide. 

-David Whyte

Listen To The River
Luka Bloom 

The fisherman used to dive into running water
And take a shining sixpence from the floor
Now he's waiting for the Salmon of Knowledge
To help him wade out from the shore

He looks down on the lake on a sunlit morning
Loves the ancient world that is within
The surface shadow is his simple warning
Transformation must begin
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