Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pentecost Dawn

Here we are at the beginning of a great festival Sunday, second only to Easter.  In some churches, the festival may come and go, barely noticed.  In others, the whole worship space may be transformed.

Are we willing to be transformed?

I have been thinking of times of transformation in my own life, especially the times of transformation that made me ecstatically happy.  They were times when I was accomplishing something that I didn't think could be possible, and times when that change came fairly quickly (unlike the changes that came at the end of a long slog).

I tend to believe that we can't live in that ecstatic state of getting goals accomplished for long, and certainly not year after year.  But what if I'm wrong?

The festival day of Pentecost reminds us that great things can happen when the Holy Spirit takes hold of a community.  If we need a reminder of that, all we need to do is to look at the state of the church on Pentecost morning, and then think about the spread of Christianity in the decade after Pentecost.

And Christianity was spread by regular people--sure, there were some superstars like Paul.  But Paul came and went and then regular people had to keep the vision alive.

They did.  Pentecost both celebrates that fact and invites us to welcome the Holy Spirit in to our modern communities.

Pentecost reassures us with the mystical promise of the Spirit. We do not have to know what we are doing; we just need to be open to the movement of the Spirit. Pentecost promises daring visions; we don’t have to know how we’re going to accomplish them. God will take care of that.

God became incarnate to prepare humans to carry on the work of Kingdom creation. And Pentecost reminds us of our job description, to let the Holy Spirit blow into our hollowed out spaces and to fill us with the fire to dream and the resources to bring our visions to life.

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