We recently celebrated Pentecost Sunday. We are now in the “season” of Pentecost. Just as many people believe that Easter is one day, (it is actually a season) so too many believe that Pentecost is a single day on the church calendar.
And it is an important day. Many call it the “birthday of the church.” We know the story. On the day of Pentecost, there was a sudden rush of wind, and tongues of fire appeared and rested on the disciples, and they were able to speak in other languages, and everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus had promised the disciples he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them and to help them as they spread the message of Jesus.
But Pentecost is also a season that reminds us that it is the Spirit that also fills us, guides us, comforts us, challenges us, and empowers us. Yes, the church at Pentecost was empowered; empowered for mission, to tell the story of God’s love, and empowered to continue Christ’s mission of preaching, teaching, baptizing, witnessing, and serving as the scripture says it, “in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth.”
As church, we have people, ministries, programs, and a beautiful building, but we are powerless without the Spirit. The Spirit is what we need most. We need the Spirit to help find the right words to tell people about God’s love, and to show people God’s love. We need the Spirit’s guidance in knowing just what to do to help the people in need around us.
Steve Shoemaker has written that we need to create a “habitat for God’s Spirit.” By that he means that we take delight in what we do. We stick to our calling. We love beauty. We walk on the edge of chaos or order to create something new. Creativity requires that we take chances and be willing to make mistakes. And inherent with innovation and creativity is a kind of suffering, the pain of failure, criticism, and rejection.
Pentecost is a day, but it is also a season, so as we make our Pentecost journey this summer, let us reflect on what it means to live as God’s people and as servants of Christ. We will continue our Pentecost journey by telling some stories of Jesus in worship. I encourage you to join us each Sunday in June!
Oh, how I pray for the power of God to be set loose among us. May we never take for granted the greatest power of all, the power of God’s Spirit set loose in the church!
In Christ, Pastor Joel
Rev. Dr. Doris Barron-Shell