This Sunday was the sacred day of Pentecost! On Pentecost, we remember and celebrate the creation of the Church! The scriptures tell us that 50 days after the celebration of the Passover, Jesus’ disciples were all gathered in one space, still reeling from what they had witnessed in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. And then, something extraordinary happened – a strong wind blew through the room and the Holy Spirit descended upon them like fire, filling their hearts.
The work of the Holy Spirit didn’t end on that day all those years ago. For the good news of Pentecost is that the Holy Spirit continues to descend and touch us. Each one of us is filled with God’s divine spirit, with God’s divine love. It is that Spirit that calls us together into community with one another. It is that Spirit that seeks to challenge and transform our understanding of what is. And it is that Spirit – the Holy Spirit – that equips us and sends us out in hope and peace.
Friends, as we continue to reflect on where the Holy Spirit is calling us in this Pentecost season, I share with you a prayer written by Walter Brueggemann, titled “Blown by the Spirit… We Know Not where.” May it challenge and inspire us to step forward into the unknown.
We hear the story of the wind at Pentecost,
Holy wind that dismantles what was,
Holy wind that evokes what is to be,
Holy wind that overrides barriers and causes communication,
Holy wind that signals your rule even among us.
We are dazzled, but then – reverting to type –
we wonder how to harness the wind,
how to manage the wind by our technology,
how to turn the wind to our usefulness,
how to make ourselves managers of the wind.
Partly we do not believe such an odd tale
because we are not religious freaks;
Partly we resist such a story,
because it surges beyond our categories;
Partly we had imagined you to be more ordered
and reliable than that.
So we listen, depart, and return to our ordered existence:
we depart with only a little curiosity
but not yet yielding;
we return to how it was before,
unconvinced but wistful, slightly praying for wind,
craving for newness,
wishing to have it all available to us.
We pray toward the wind and wait, unconvinced but wistful.