Pentecost has the potential to be the most interesting and empowering festival of the church year. We celebrate the Spirit being unleashed: like a mighty wind shaking things up; like fire set upon on our heads; like opening up closed doors to the world outside; because fear no longer holds power over us. Pentecost is a calling to take the message of Jesus to the streets.
When the Spirit comes, said the prophet Joel (and Peter preaching), your sons and daughters will prophesy; the young will see visions; the old will dream dreams; men, women, slaves, free – anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21 [my paraphrase]).
-What do you dream about for your community of faith?
-Does your church (or the church as a whole) have a vision for its purpose other than institutional survival? Worship Attendance? Buildings? Programs? Staff? Dollars? Busyness?
-What if what we we were actually called to do as Jesus people was to love the way he loved so we could make a lasting impact in people’s lives – and turned them loose to share that love too?
-What if we took action (and made plans for action) – not just to keep the ship in the water but set sail for new horizons?
-Would we go?
-How many of our churches just sit in the dry dock?
Pentecost can be a time, not just to hear the story – but to enter it anew. It can be a moment to wait and pray for the Spirit to shake things up in our lives and community, to set our hearts on fire with the passion of Jesus, and send us out beyond the safety of closed doors.
I have a quote on my office door from Frederick Buechner that reads, “The place God calls you is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” (from his book, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC. [San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993], 119.)
-What is your deep gladness?
-Where might that deep gladness meet those around you?
-What is keeping you from that calling?
-What doors do you keep locked in front of you?
-Why are you afraid of trying?
Pray with me:
Come, Holy Spirit come!