New life and the power to live as God calls us. That’s what this month holds for us. The Great Fifty Days of Easter are only about half over as we move into May, and Pentecost with its fire and stirring wind will blow through us before the month is over. It is so fitting that we will be celebrating several baptisms, confirmations and new members this month!
Please remember that we will have only one service at 10 am on Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate our Confirmation Class. Coffee, juice and other light refreshments will be available immediately following the service so that the congregation may greet the Confirmands and their families.(The service will be a little longer than usual, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for these young people, and it is our opportunity to show them our love and support!)
In her book, Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard wrote:
On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of the conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on thefloor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.
When I think about Pentecost, I think of Annie Dillard. Power. I love that last half-sentence: “…the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.” What if? We do like to keep things comfortable, the way we like them, the way we are used to them. The “comfort” that Jesus
spoke of when he was leaving the disciples, was comfort to sustain them in the danger of continuing his ministry. The Comforter (the Holy Spirit) was to come to remind them of Jesus’ teachings and to keep them on track – moving into God’s reality instead of “business as usual.” What if the Comforter is moving us powerfully into ministry that demands hard hats instead of Easter bonnets?
As we look forward to those baptisms, confirmations, and new member celebration, pray. Pray that as these beloved take a new place in the faith family, they will bring with them the fresh wind of the Spir-it, sharing insight and the nudging of that Spirit toward ministry that is powerful and life-changing – for all of us!