I have been thinking about manners and the cultural norms of what is considered polite and orderly. The topic has come to the fore of thought as I recall stories and events from Kenya. I found the norms of Kenya very familiar to the ones I knew growing up. I knew many missionaries in Kenya that were surprised that they were thought to be rude – something that was foreign to everything they perceived about themself. But then cross-cultural living often had that effect.
In our Pentecost Sunday gospel, as noted in this week’s post, to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room on that first Easter evening Jesus first words were: “Peace be with you.” His second words were: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” His thirds words were “Receive the Holy Spirit.” His fourth words were: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20:23)