Dear Friends -
I’ve got to say - my favorite Sunday of the year is this Sunday – and dang, I will be away – although I’m delighted I’ll be attending my eldest granddaughter’s high school graduation in Portland, OR! (Yay Lily!)
But I hope you’ll make every effort to be in worship – because it’s PENTECOST!
I used to think of Pentecost as the birthday of the church. (I kind of imagine those “tongues of fire” that day looked like a bunch of life-sized human candles.) But I wonder if the idea of celebrating the church’s birthday is a bit too backwards-looking, like Pentecost is only in the past. Which totally misses the point – because Pentecost is all about the church’s life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit now!
I’ve been reading through the Book of Acts again lately, and have been struck again by how the early church had no strategic plan. Actually Jesus told them to wait for the promised Holy Spirit who would give them power and show them the Way. And it ended up being a pretty radical way – the Spirit was all about breaking down barriers between people and crossing boundaries. (For example, discovering that God’s promise included the Gentiles as Gentiles kind of rocked their world!) The Spirit kept taking them to people and places they did not necessarily naturally gravitate towards. In fact, as one of my favorite Acts commentators, the brilliant Willie James Jennings, reminds us: “The church was born in the tight space between faith and fear and forever lives in that space. Only the Holy Spirit keeps that space from collapsing in on us.”
So here we are, FPCS – more often than not in that tight space between faith and fear. But the Holy Spirit is still right there with us, still taking us where we might not exactly want to go. Still showing us the Way. Still giving us power to be the church.
And that’s why I love Pentecost so much!
Take a few minutes before Sunday to check out the Pentecost text in Acts 2:1-21. Our friend, Charlie Scoma, Chaplain with the Seattle Police Department, who has preached at FPCS several times, will help everyone preach…and the Spirit will show the Way!
Grace and peace,