May 30, 2006

Looking Ahead to June 4, 2006 -- Pentecost Sunday

This SUnday we will hear a report from Elvin, Christina and Josh regarding the Conference Annual Meeting May 25-28. We will also be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion.

Pentecost takes place 50 days after Easter. Often called the "birthday of the Church" it is a day when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. Theologically speaking it is one of the most important celebrations of the church year (second only to Easter, tied with Christmas/Epiphany). The Scriptures for Pentecost Sunday this year are:

The Hymns we are singing are:

  • 382 Breathe on Me Breath of God
  • 375 Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness
  • 198 Come O Spirit, Dwell Among Us (tune 374)
  • 481 Sent Forth by God's Blessing

The Meditation is going to be about Transformation and Life from Dead Bones.

Near the end of Lord of the Rings, after the battles have been fought and won, Gandalf takes the new king out to a desolate place. Aragorn asks for a sign of hope that his line will endure and Gandalf tells him to turn away from the city and look out into the desolation, where all seems dead. There Aragorn sees a seedling of the White Tree, a sign of the continuing line of Elendil. He finds his hope, not in the battle victory, or in his coronation, or in the celebrations of his people, but in the middle of a dead plain.

Similarly Ezekiel is looking for hope. His people have been enslaved and exiled. Their temple and city have been destroyed. And God gives him a vision of skeletons lyuing jumbled in a ditch. "Mortal, can these bones live?"

Pentecost is about the transforming power of God's Holy Spirit or ruach ( a Hebrew word which also means wind -- in Hebrew is the the ruach that moves over the waters at the beginning of Genesis). Often in our world we do one of two things. One is that we invite transformation as long as it doesn't actually mean we have to change. Another is that we look at the desolate places in our lives and lose hope. Pentecost reminds us to do neither.

Transformation needs us to be open to the Spirit';s work within us. Transformation means we need to be able to give the same answer Ezekiel gave "O Lord God, you know". Are we ready to be transformed? Are we ready to look in the desolate places for new signs of life? Are we ready to be changed? What wind is blowing our way this Pentecost?


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