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POWERFUL BECAUSE TRUE

The resurrection of Christ was of a wholly different category of reality from the resuscitation of Lazarus. Lazarus was given a temporary reprieve. He would later die again and return to the tomb. By contrast, Christ rose from the dead to a new and glorified life, never to die again. He rose from the dead to life in the Spirit.

In the moment of Christ’s death He breathed forth, handed over, His Spirit: tradidit Spiritum (John 19:30). His resurrection was the initial public release of His gift of the Holy Spirit. That giving of the Holy Spirit was seen again on Easter day when the Lord granted to the Apostles His own power to absolve sins.

During the following Forty Days before the Ascension, the Lord Who is Spirit completed His general public revelation. Then at Pentecost the Holy Spirit was given definitively ad robur, for strengthening. The power of the resurrection was hurled outwards from Jerusalem, spreading Christ’s Gospel to the ends of the earth through the preaching of the Apostles.

The fuller elucidation of that preaching came years later in the inspired writing and editing of the New Testament. But the preaching came first, as it always should.

If and when we ever stopped preaching the explicit truth about Jesus Christ, then it would hardly be surprizing if the mighty rushing wind and the contagious flame of the God the Holy Spirit seemed to be in decline, sometimes to the point of seeming to have degenerated into an embarrassed and furtive whisper.

We hear a lot about the Church being called to serve the world and work with the world. Yes indeed we are. But sadly that serving and working have often involved more whispering than preaching. In recent decades the results of so much whispering have not been spectacularly successful as regards evangelization.

The best way to serve the world, and work with the world, is to preach loud and clear the full Gospel truth about Jesus Christ the Son of God. Jesus is Lord. He is risen from the dead and He is Lord.

The Apostles did not whisper. They proclaimed and they evangelized. They did not concentrate on preaching to the converted. They did the opposite. They concentrated on preaching to the unconverted. They made converts. They did their job.