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Pentecost Sunday

There was a time when the Christian year was marked by a change of seasons. Coupled with the rhythm of agriculture, there was a sense of time passing in a more or less orderly fashion. Now, our time is mainly marked by professional sports. Spring is marked by March Madness, Spring Training, and the Masters. The All-Star break tells us that summer is about half over. Fall comes with the resumption of Football. If it’s Christmas/New Years, it must be time for the playoffs. And so it goes.


Back to the seasons thing. There was Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Eastertide, and Ordinary Time. Ordinary time is/was marked by Pentecost and lasted through the beginning of the new year; Advent. What a strange designation, ordinary time, especially when noted that it begins with Pentecost, described for us in Acts 2:1-21. It seems to me that as we read the events of Pentecost, they were anything but ordinary. Prior to Jesus’ ascension, he promised that God would send the Holy Spirit, the abiding presence of God in the world. And send, God did! It was a life changing, world changing event. God’s presence on that first Pentecost could not be missed, nor misinterpreted. It must have been equal parts exhilaration, visioning, and, frankly, a little terror at God’s manifestation.


Maybe this season is referred to as “Ordinary Time” precisely because God’s ongoing presence in God’s world is normative and therefore, ordinary. Maybe living into the Pentecost experience, that is an awareness of the immanence of God’s presence in and among us, is God’s intent. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley once said, “ no man (sic) sins because he hath not grace, but because he does not use the grace which he hath (Works, VI 512).” If this is the case, then Pentecost was not a one-off event. Rather Pentecost happens in the life of the church and its members continually.  It is our mission to simply receive, model, and share the grace that God has poured out through God’s Holy Spirit.


I look forward to discussing Pentecost with you Sunday,  I really look forward to hearing how God’s Holy Spirit animates your life and faith. How are you passing it on?


See you Sunday,


Paul

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