"When the day of Pentecost had come, there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind... and among them divided tongues as of fire." Both images describe the way the disciples felt experiencing the liveliness of the Spirit's presence newly apprehended in their lives. What they came to hear and accept was what Jesus said, "When the Spirit of Truth comes, it will guide you into all truth. For it will glorify me, because it will take what is mine and declare it to you."
Come Holy Spir’t, our souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire. Thou the anointing Spir’t art, who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart. AMEN.
Spirit and fire, diving dove and drifting dove, a jumble of voices reuniting the Tower of Babel’s alienation of languages, tribes, and people, and yet “if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it with patience.” The bold and showy scale of wind and fire, the sudden ability to understand everyone, combine to be far from the finger-crossed hope Paul made to those gathered in Rome. What do we make of Pentecost?
May all the words I speak which come from God find a rich soil in which to be planted. And may all those which do not be speedily forgotten"
In keeping with our theme of Poetry in Theology, a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
The glory of Friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when they discover that someone else believes in them and is willing to trust them.
A sermon preached May 6, 2012, at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Bowdoin St., Boston, MA. The readings were from RCL Easter 5, year B.
XIn the Name of the Risen Christ. Amen.
We have all experienced being excluded from something in which we wanted to participate, from childhood games—to the ideal job as an adult. The feelings exclusion evokes in us are as varied as hurt, anger, confusion or bewilderment, sadness, worthlessness, blame, even betrayal, and sometimes a fear that we are worthless or a looser.