On Sunday, May 15th, we will be celebrating Pentecost Sunday. This is the Sunday where we hear the story of the first Pentecost, where the disciples and other believers were gathered together in Jerusalem and the Spirit came in their midst in a rushing wind. Each of them received the gift of speaking in different languages. Instead of only being able to speak Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, all the sudden they were able to speak in all of the languages of the surrounding area!
Jesus had told them that his disciples would be his witness in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Jesus had promised that the Spirit would be with them and they were to stay in Jerusalem until that happened. Now that it had, they were equipped to go out and share the gospel of Jesus to those who had not year heard, seen, or believed.
On Pentecost Sunday, we will pray for the Spirit to guide and direct our actions in our lives, within the walls of our church building, and out in our communities. We will continue our prayers in our hymns that morning. We will sing/pray things like:
“Drive us out from sheltered comfort; past these walls your people send!”
“All that blocks your purpose, purge!”
“Shake us loose from lethargy!”
“Crumble walls that still divide us; make us one in Christ our Lord!”
What if God actually does what we pray for? These aren’t just lyrics and these aren’t just prayers, but exclamations! We didn’t just pray sentences as we sang, we shouted them to God! Big, dramatic changes happen when the Spirit is involved and we will cry out for it.
We will spend several months in the Season after Pentecost this year – that long season of green paraments – where we will hear story after story of how God is at loose in the world, shaking things up, forcing us to hear things we don’t want to hear, and forcing us to love people we don’t want to love. We will spend months listening for how the Spirit is calling out for us to follow and rejoice that we are not stepping out alone.
The Spirit is alive and active in our midst, rushing like a whirlwind. Are we ready to step out in faith, together, to go where we are being called?