When the Holy Spirit comes we will be clothed in δυναμις, Jesus says. Dunamis is the Greek word for power. I wonder how many of us think of a prayer for the coming of the Spirit as a prayer for power. How many of us think of our gift of the Spirit in Confirmation as giving us power in the world. Not power as the world counts power of course, but a love that can have power over what the world counts as power.
This weekend we celebrate the Ascension of Christ into heaven. And we pray that his promised gift of the Spirit might clothe us. Us as individuals. Us as community. And we will celebrate that promised gift of the Spirit with a grand outdoor mass. All of us together on the grounds of St Leonard, visible to the neighborhood. In a way it is as if we are publicly promising to be people of the Spirit’s power, and to use that power to make our neighborhoods better places. But do we really trust what we are saying?
All through the Easter season we have been reading the deeds of power of the early church. We’ve been reading how those early followers had a power that captured hearts with God’s love. Could that kind of power be possible for us in our own time?
If the Greek word dunamis sounds a little familiar that’s because it is the root of an English word: dynamite. Now there’s power unleashed in the world! Let’s keep that image in mind as we pray for the Spirit’s power to be unleashed during these days.
“Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created,
And you shall renew the face of the earth.”