In the quiet pre-dawn while my family slept, I took out the peanut butter. The jar felt light in my hand, and I made a mental note to add it to the grocery list so we wouldn’t run out. Unscrewing the lid, I anticipated the creamy, salty goodness I would spread on my cinnamon raisin toast.
There was nothing in the jar.
Someone had eaten all the peanut butter and put the empty jar back in the refrigerator. My eyes narrowed as I fought the urge to yell at Someone, whoever it was, for messing up my morning, for denying me what I felt I was entitled to have. I wanted to punish Someone by waking Someone up, so Someone could feel as irritated as I did.
Sometimes our humanity trips us up (especially when food is involved).
The Church was born of ordinary people, right in the middle of their humanity. Following Jesus’ death and Resurrection, they had to figure out what it meant to be the Church. How would they navigate their relationships? Who was in charge? How would they worship? How would they deal with civil authorities who were willing to kill them to extinguish their message?
It makes me wonder what Jesus was thinking, leaving His Church in the hands of regular people just like us.
The thing is, though, that’s not all Jesus left.
He also left His peace, a peace unlike anything the world can give.
He also left instructions—don’t be afraid.
He also sent the Holy Spirit.
Jesus never said it would be easy. His Church was too important to fail. But Jesus knew it wouldn’t fail. It became manifest in His followers, in their daily interactions with each other. Our humanity as the Church is what allows us to relate to the world. But the way we as the Church are in the world has to be different, because that’s what draws people to us.
What Jesus gives us makes us different from the world . . . and that's exactly how we need to be to share Him with them.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Abbey Dupuy is the Assistant Theological Editor for Blessed is She and writes her life as a homeschooling mama of four frequently barefoot children. She is a graduate student in liturgical theology at Saint John's University. In her spare time, she enjoys running, gardening, coffee, and cookbooks, not usually at at the same time. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up and author of our Blessed Conversations: The Virtues study found here.