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7 Easter - John 17:9-19; Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

Holy Father, Lord who knows everyone's heart, we thank you for the words and witness of your servants John and Luke.

John dizzies our minds with the prayer of Jesus, too deep for anyone but You to understand completely, but we know he is praying on our behalf and asking You to grant us holy things—union, truth, protection, grace, the power of your love, sanctification, joy—that

we cannot reach on our own.

That doesn't stop us from trying.

As John's words soar to the top floor of heaven, Luke reports from the ground where we are.

Jesus has ascended, and the Holy Spirit has not yet come.

Judas has bailed, leaving a committee slot unfilled.

So before there was a church, there was a church meeting.

The nominating committee forwarded two names.

There was a quick prayer; don't want to tie up business by wasting time chit-chatting with You.

The holy dice roll came up Matthias.

We haven't heard from him since.

But now the slots are filled and the reports can be printed, thanks be to You.

It's how we are, you know, and you love us for it, or more likely in spite of it.

We are addicted to certainty, and we get nervous when things are unclear, especially in times of transition, like right now.

Once again your people are caught in between.

Once upon a time we were in between Egypt and the Promised Land; you remember how ugly that got.

The disciples were in between the ascension of Jesus and the arrival of the Holy Spirit.

And now we are too.

Jesus is your love in person; the Holy Spirit is your love gone virtual.

Jesus is skin we touch; the Spirit is invisible power connecting us globally.

We're not totally comfortable with either.

Today we are in person but still outside, without some of our friends and fellow disciples who are not or can not yet be vaccinated.

Today we are live streaming on the internet, available to the entire world.

Today your church is quickly and awkwardly learning how to be hybrid, part local, part global, part Jesus, part Spirit, in flesh and on screen, and we hav