John 20:21 is one of my go-to pieces of scripture. To be a disciple of Jesus is to be sent, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t go it alone. After giving his disciples their commissioning, Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Not “If you’d like help, you can have the Holy Spirit.”
Not “Think about taking the Holy Spirit.”
But “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Take is, it is yours. The Holy Spirit is absolutely required in order to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ because, as Paul told the Church in Corinth, it is through the Spirit that we receive the gifts we need to do our work. The Spirit divvies up the gifts of administration, preaching, teaching, giving, encouraging, cooking, evangelism, you name it so that the kingdom can be built on an ongoing basis in every corner of the world.
“Receive the Holy Spirit,” Jesus says. Take it. You need it. As we prepare to celebrate the Day of Pentecost and remember the giving of the gift of the Spirit to the disciples and through them the Church, I hope you’ll receive the Spirit. I hope you’ll allow the Spirit to work within you. I hope you’ll go forth in the power of the Spirit to love and serve the world.