Dear Friends in Christ,
The season of Pentecost begins in our church year on Sunday, June 9, with the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples who were all gathered together in one place. Jesus had promised them that he would send them an advocate, a counselor, the presence of God with them in a new way.
That presence of God is one that is always with us. It is through the presence of the Holy Spirit that we are able to meet the challenges that face us as a church called to carry on God’s mission in our world. It is the Spirit that filled the disciples on that first Pentecost, and enabled them to be the church for a new day, in a world that was often at odds with the message that God revealed in Jesus Christ.
As Pastor Steve Kottke shared with us when he preached on May 19, we are being called to “shift” our thinking about how the church carries out God’s mission in our world today. It is not enough to be a welcoming church in a society where people are not moved to open the doors to come in. On that first Pentecost the Spirit didn’t tell the disciples to wait in the room where they had gathered, but moved them to go out enlivened by the Spirit to speak to others, to engage others where they were in the world, and to enter into new and exciting relationships.
The Spirit is calling us to be a community that steps out of our comfort zone, crosses boundaries and embraces the others in our world, as Jesus himself did.
Richard Rohr, the director of The Center for Action and Contemplation, wrote last week in his daily meditation entitled “Age of Spirit”, “The Holy Spirit never gives up on us. . . . The Spirit’s work is helping us stay in relationship and building connections. The Spirit warms, softens, mends, and renews all the broken, cold places in and between things. Invisible but powerful, willing to be anonymous, the Spirit does not care who gets the credit for the wind from nowhere, the living water that we take for granted, or the bush that always burns and is never consumed.”
“The Spirit is like a homing device put inside of us, and all creation. It’s God in you that loves God; it’s God through you that recognizes God elsewhere; it’s God for you that assures you that you are finally and forever okay.”
Our God is always leading us and prying us open to new adventures which we are able to embrace because we are guided by the Spirit of Pentecost and we are never alone.
Your in Christ,