Pentecost is coming soon.
Dr. David Lose of Luther Seminary and the good people at www.workingpreacher.org created this short video published on May 14, 2010. A close friend, Pastor Tim Krick, sent it to me this week as it went out to the congregation he serves, Christ the King Lutheran Church in Combined Locks, WI.
I encourage you to take four minutes and watch it –
It is Pentecost (well a few days before it anyway) and it is a strange festival in the church. We celebrate the Holy Spirit coming among us, but do we really know what that means?
Is this festival just about the Spirit coming to those first followers in a violent wind, with tongues of fire, giving them the ability to speak in many languages or is it about us too?
If Pentecost is about us too – which I assume it is – where are our tongues of fire? I want a tongue of fire on my head. That would be cool (or maybe a bit hot, who knows? With no hair on the top of my head it might get a little crispy!) I want to talk in multiple languages too.
Maybe I just have not tried.
Maybe those tongues of fire are there and we just can’t see them.
Maybe we already have enough strength and courage and compassion,
but just need a little encouragement to believe from outside ourselves.
Maybe we’ve believed the old lie that “if we don’t do it, God can’t do it” a little too much. Maybe we feel hesitant, afraid, unworthy, and unable, because we believe we can’t do it.
Maybe we believe God won’t either.
Maybe we believe that even though we do good in God’s name – we are truly alone.
Maybe that is why we are stuck inside.
Maybe that is why we need the Spirit to come.
Maybe that is why those first disciples needed the Spirit too.
What if that Pentecost story wasn’t so far away, so distant, so full of names and places we don’t know and instead took place here – in our community, in this church, in our neck of the woods, in our country and this world? Too often we face the challenges before us with a hesitation that takes the wind out of our sails and leaves us flat. What if a violent wind was coming, did push us forward, and did reveal to us how close God truly is?
This weekend is the festival of Pentecost, but it is also Memorial Day weekend.
Holiday weekends highlight how busy and are scattered our culture can be.
You may feel scattered too.
We live in a scattered world, which only seems to further unravel before us.
But when the Spirit comes we are no longer scattered.
But when the Spirit comes we are never alone.
But when the Spirit comes we are drawn together into Christ.
But when the Spirit comes we are sent to this scattered world.
Who knows? When the Spirit comes we might just end up with crispy heads too!
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” (Romans 8:19-26)
P.S. Wear red this Sunday – wherever God sends you!