With the better weather last week I decided to get my hair cut. It was a beautiful day and the door was wide open in the barber’s.
I didn’t mind especially after the football lesson we witnessed at the Champions’ League final at Wembley. I noticed the Manchester United scarf had been taken down from the door.
Apparently because of the good weather it was put in the wash so it could dry on the line. I suppose it was only appropriate after United were hung out to dry at the weekend.
Eventually I took my seat at the barber’s chair, I was concerned because the barber in question had a cut on his hand and I began to wonder how you could cut yourself using an electric razor; maybe they do things differently in Ardmore!
It didn’t take long to get to the bottom of the story and it involved a dog. This isn’t your normal dog story because it also concerns a bike, a main road, a long lead and another dog. I forget what breed of dog his daughter had bought but it was massive, I think it was a husky.
Of course, like most family pets, it soon became his responsibility to walk the dog which was the size of a small horse.
He probably wouldn’t have needed a bike he could have just put on a saddle. However it seemed a good idea at the time to ride his bike while walking the dog with a retractable lead.
All went well until the dog got excited when it spotted another dog.
The creature took off like one of the hounds of hell taking about two hundred feet of lead with it.
That was bad enough until the worried barber on the bike panicked when he spotted the dog about to cross the road.
He had no other course of action than to ditch the bike with him still on it.
When he dusted himself down at the side of the road he noticed a large cut on his hand and saw he was covered in blood. He must have looked a sight because when people saw him walking like ‘a casualty’ accompanied with the huge dog they started crossing to the other side of the road.
If that wasn’t bad enough the welcome he got when he arrived home was far from perfect.
When he struggled in through the door his daughter looked at him with a concerned expression and with emotion in her voice pleaded,‘please tell me no-one saw you!’
There was genuine concern on the disciples’ faces when Jesus left them to ascend into heaven.
It was a farewell of a different nature, Jesus would no longer be bodily present in the same way, he would be present however through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We’re told how the eleven gathered in Galilee where it had all began, the fact there were no longer twelve is a reminder of betrayal and broken friendships. Yet this was the community Jesus had chosen to send out into the world to proclaim his name.
Two thousand years later we can gather in his name because of their work and the mission of the Church guided through the Holy Spirit. Being guided by the same Spirit, what will the fruit of our lives be, what will we be witnesses to and what legacy will we leave behind?
God entered into our broken world and fractured relationships and because of his life changing presence all things are possible if we embrace the gifts he promises us.
We have to be brave enough to live out our baptism when we first received the gift of the spirit. Two thousand years later Jesus is still sending us out to proclaim to the world his Word.
Each of us has been called by name and given a unique mission which only we can fulfil. We have to dare to believe we all have a part to fulfil in God’s plan. Even though Jesus had disappeared from the disciples’ sight he promised to remain even more present in their hearts and minds through his Spirit.
We pray for the same openness to God’s Spirit so that our lives may be guided and strengthened to embrace God’s will for the world and for each other.