Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecost Past and Present, and a Prayer

Today I face Pentecost with a bit of weariness and a bit of wariness.  I want transformation, but first I'd like nap--even though I just woke up an hour ago.

I remember a Pentecost long ago when I got confirmed.  Lutherans had just switched to the green hymnal, so I had spent weeks memorizing the Creed in the new language.  Much of my family came for the week-end:  my maternal grandmother and grandfather, my aunt and uncle and two cousins.  I didn't want to screw up in front of them.  Happily, I didn't.

Someone had brought a huge amount of strawberries, which we ate all week-end.  I had a red dress, which we'd driven all the way to Richmond (from Charlottesville, VA) to find.  Ah, Pentecost, the red holiday.

I remember a Pentecost almost 10 years ago now, when we'd spent the week-end at various events that surrounded my sister's wedding.  Some of us got up early and went across town to my mom and dad's Lutheran church for Pentecost service.  I'd spent the past year deeply plugged into the church holiday schedule, and I didn't want to miss Pentecost.  So, though I'd only had about 4 hours of sleep, I went to church.  The world seemed to shimmer with possibility.

This morning, the world shimmers with a very dry heat.  We're having the driest rainy season on record, and we're not expecting rain soon.  I feel like a withered plant.  I haven't been eating well or sleeping well.  I'm ready for renewal, but scared at the same time.  I know that God's vision for God's people has often sent them where they never would have thought of going--a rewarding path but one that was sometimes very rough.

My prayer for Pentecost:

Come Holy Spirit, but come gently.  We've been scoured by the fires of all our sour economies.  We're ready for new visions.  We'll raise our sails so that your breath can blow us in a new direction.

No comments: