May, already? Easter is over, Mother’s Day, graduations, and Memorial Day lie before us. We will seriously look at plans for summer vacations and trips (probably measured by the price of gasoline). The long break in the church year is over, or we often think so. This year Pentecost is on June 12th. The church’s birthday becomes like the birthday of some of us who try to slide past it without taking notice so we can pretend to be younger or to not make a big deal of getting another year older.
But we are not talking about a birthday that marks the passing years into infirmity and lessening abilities, at least we hope not. The church, while it is a living, functioning Body of Christ in the world, it should be more resilient than you or me. The church should listen to the voices of all generations as they grow in their journeys of faith and thereby resist aging. For the church, the celebration of Pentecost should re-ignite the child-like excitement of an upcoming party, with all the trimmings. Why not fill the sanctuary with red balloons that float in the Divine Ruach (Hebrew for wind and spirit), let the languages of children, often difficult for adults to translate, fill the sanctuary with sound. Celebrate the presence of God and dine at the Table of the Lord. Sing Happy Birthday to the church, and to each of us as we remember the day we were born into the church’s life.
Our world could use a place where there is joy and hope. The news is too often grim and depressing as it is. People struggle with the economy, and struggle to maintain their jobs or finding a job, struggle to see a purpose for their own lives. The Sanctuary needs to be that place of fulfillment and joy-filled hope. This summer our children and youth will be experiencing the camp theme ”Got Spirit.” It is a question to ask ourselves before we get to Pentecost. Do we see the Spirit of God in the world around us? If not, are we even looking for God in the world? Do we listen when that spirit-filled voice inside each of us speaks, or do we drown out the voice with noisiness? Do we rejoice in the Good News that is the gift of God, or do we think this news is for someone else?
Each of us is loved, each of us is given this Gospel of hope and promise. Open up that package. It is not to be saved for that special rainy day need. Open it every day and put it on, and taste it, and share it with other people. IT IS HERE FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!
Now, when Pentecost arrives you can join in the celebration. The concerns about whether to vacation or stay-cation, can be set aside for a time along with all the other worries and concerns that fill your life. The Gospel is an easy burden and its load is light. Rejoice in this gift again, like Paul, I say rejoice.