I still have Pentecost on my mind. The longer I am in ministry the more I gravitate to this one Sunday in our church calendar year as one of my favorites. It’s not because it signifies the beginning of the church – the church we have today, but because the Holy Spirit offers us a rich theological perspective that is so expansive it can’t all be covered in Sunday morning sermon.
Pentecost is a hopeful season when we are called to action – to find the fire of longing in our heart and to make positive changes. Even in the midst of a corona virus pandemic and a racial injustice pandemic, in the midst of anger and frustration, I believe there is reason to be hopeful.
In Acts 2:4: All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them. This is about how we all speak to God in our own languages and God speaks to us. The hope is that we will have compassion for all the possibilities and different ways we connect with God.
The hope of Pentecost means we don’t have to speak the same language AND we can still be a church community. There is so much we can do during this time of two pandemics. We may not all understand the current injustices but we can listen and let the spirit be our guide.
Another, very important reason I love Pentecost? I was ordained on Pentecost. It seems appropriate and an important connection with my theology that I would be ordained on a hopeful, disruptive and spirit filled day that allows us to connect with God in our own special and unique way. This day will always be my Pentecost moment.
Howard Thurman, a prominent religious figure who played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century, said this: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Do you have a Pentecost moment? A day or an experience where you have felt the spirit move you to come alive? You know I love to hear your stories! Please share.
Also, I have enclosed a prayer for our current time. It is a prayer relevant to Pentecost and a prayer for justice.
Prayer for Justice
God the Holy Spirit,
You are the restless breath of love that sweeps through the world.
You move where you will, breaking down barriers,
Stirring hearts to change, making all things possible.
Inspire each one of us to hunger and thirst for justice!
Come, Spirit of God,
Sweep through our world bringing great change.
May the bounty of your goodness be shared more justly,
So all may share in the rich blessings of your creation.
And, for us, bring transformation in our praying and living,
So that we may act justly, love mercy,
And walk humbly with you all the days of our lives.
~ posted on Third Space
In December 2019, Carla started her two-year designated term pastorate at Plymouth. She spent the last 5 years consulting with churches on strategic planning, conflict transformation and visioning. Before going to seminary she volunteered at her church through Stephen Ministry, visiting ministries and leading worship services at a memory care unit and a healthcare facility. Learn more about Carla here.