As I said in the bulletin this week, Pentecost signals the time when we need to truly “walk the talk” of our journey with our brother, Jesus. The Apostles were strengthened in the Spirit and we should realize that we as confirmed followers of Jesus have that same strength to calm our fears and more fully do what is “right” in our world. My prayer for each of us is that we would always know that what we do that is good in this world is always supported by our brother Jesus, in his Spirit. Peace and love, Pastor Kathy
P.S. Never hesitate to give a call, 507-429-3616 or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help in any way, or even if you would just like to chat.
The love of our God has been poured into our hearts by God’s Spirit living in us, Amen.
Let Us Pray
God of Light, from whom every good gift comes, send your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind, and by the flame of your wisdom open the horizons of our minds. Loosen our tongues to sing your praise in words beyond the power of speech, for without your Spirit, we could never raise our voices in words of peace or announce the truth that Jesus lives and loves us with you and this same Spirit—one God, forever and ever—Amen.
- Acts 2: 1-11
- 1 Corinthians 12: 3-7, 12-13
- John 20: 19-23
Friends, Pentecost is our clarion call to “walk the talk” of Christianity—Pentecost is for grown-ups in their faith—it is about action, about moving out of our comfort zones, not looking to anyone else for guidance, but our brother Jesus, who truly showed us the way to go, even to the cross. Now, you might be wondering, why would I want to do that, especially the cross part? And, I can only answer, because that was what you and I signed on for on our confirmation day!
That day was not just about getting a new set of clothes, having a party with family and friends, receiving gifts, but about making a conscious effort to live more from our hearts, than our heads. The heart will lead us out of our comfort zones, whereas the head, alone, will never do that. If our confirmation day was the beginning of us as individuals, living more from the heart, then, that was something worth celebrating! And, it is never too late to start! What things in today’s world are in need of this “heart-kind” of living?
I came upon a real, life example a few days ago that really threw me and I have to admit; I didn’t know how to handle it. At the end of it all, my “head” was probably more in gear than was my “heart.” As I was leaving the grocery store, in a hurry to my next errand; I became aware of something out of the ordinary. I heard running water and turned to see a disheveled man, dressed in probably all the clothes he had in the world, urinating on the ground in front of the store. I looked back a couple of times to confirm that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. When he was finished, he returned to a bench in the front of the store and sat down.
When I got to my car, I sat there for a bit and thought about so many things. This was surely a homeless man, perhaps with some mental illness, apparently alone in the world, without family or friends. I thought about whether he was hungry and about returning and giving him some money, which, by the way, I didn’t. My thinking included, why didn’t he use the rest room in the store? Was that even part of his consciousness? Had he lost all dignity about his personal self? And finally, how do we as a society, as individuals, let our people come to such an end?
For all the groups in this town that I have been part of, trying to make a difference in getting the basics of a home, food, clothing and healthcare, to our sisters and brothers who share this community with us; here was yet another one who had fallen through the cracks.
I have been reflecting on this poor man, realizing that giving him some money would only be a temporary fix to his problems and would have worked at easing my conscience more than it would have helped him. Additionally, it comes to me, as I write this—should I/we look at the problems of others as simply their problems, or should we see them as ours too, in the whole scope of our lives as Christians?
So, when we think about leading with our hearts, instead of our heads, what do we come to? “Walking the talk” about being Jesus’ followers, as a true, “grown-up” in the faith—what does that truly mean?
Many of us support organizations that help with food and overnight shelter, especially in the colder months and while good and certainly something that we should continue to do, should we not also support legislation and legislators in our city and country that get at the root causes of poverty, homelessness, and all the scourges associated with the above two? Yes, we should and we must! Unless we didn’t take our confirmations seriously and then, I guess, we don’t have to worry. At the very least, it seems to me, that people living without the basics in this incredibly rich country, should trouble us!
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians today, says, “To each person is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” In other words, if we are going to claim “Christianity” as our own, then our baptisms and confirmations call us to do our part!
So, this causes me to wonder—if each person is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good—are some of us not accepting the gift?
- When people are in positions of power, like our Congress and fail to work for the common good, for law and order and safety for all, many of them supposedly Christians, what is going on there?
- In our world, is the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, an ages-old dispute by supposedly religious groups, over the right to a respective homeland, something that should continue over-the-ages with no permanent fix?
Wouldn’t these be places for “hearts” to kick in over “heads” and justice be realized for all?
Luke’s account in Acts today speaks of many different people gathering in Jerusalem all speaking in differing tongues, yet all being able to understand what the apostles were saying about the wonders of Jesus, the Christ. It would seem, in the presence of Jesus’ Spirit, there can be, “understanding,” when we truly “listen” to each other—probably the larger message here for all of us to grasp—when we take the time to hear another’s story, find out why they feel and act as they do, perhaps more understanding and peace can come.
So, my friends, with so much in our lives as Christians and deciding what might be the right thing to do in any given situation, we can look to our brother Jesus for guidance. Where Jesus leads the way, the end result is usually, “peace” – maybe not at first, but throughout the struggle – peace does come.
In John’s account of Pentecost, Jesus simply “breathes” out his Spirit upon them, with the words, “peace be with you.” Shouldn’t we too, as Jesus’ followers bring peace and well-being into the places and spaces that we live? A huge task, we might think, but together and with Jesus’ Spirit—my hope and dream is that we can all become more “heart” and less “head” people in our response to our world. Amen? Amen!
Prayers of the Faithful:
Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- Jesus, thank you for the gift of your Spirit among us—help us to always remember that in this gift you fulfill your promise to always be with us, we pray in your Spirit—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- O God, let peace reign in our hearts and give us the strength and grace to be people of peace, we pray in your Spirit—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- Jesus, you who said that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend, give us hearts that strive to love unconditionally, we pray in your Spirit—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- Jesus, give the gift of hope and a light at the end of the tunnel for those suffering from job loss at this time, also be with all new college graduates looking for work, we pray in your Spirit—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- Jesus, you have called us friends—enable us to extend that relationship in our world to those who most need friendship, we pray in your Spirit—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- Jesus, you no longer have a body in this world except through us—help us to be your hands and eyes and ears and heart for our world , we pray in your Spirit—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- Jesus, your words in Scripture today remind us that we are sent forth—give us the strength to follow your lead in our world and speak truth to power through your Spirit, we pray—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- Jesus, in your loving Spirit let us as members of this community, All Are One, always find room at our table for all your people, we pray—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come!”
- Loving Jesus, be with all families who have lost loved ones this week, from COVID and all other causes—give them your peace, and help them to find their way through their grief, we pray—Response: “Come, Spirit, Come”
***Let us pray for the silent petitions on our hearts—pause—we pray, then response
Let Us Pray
Jesus, be the strength we need each day to be Pentecost people –true to our calling to be people of peace and of love. Let us never falter in our commitment to you and your world. Let us look at your people, always with love, remembering that you have called us friends—that you have given all that we might have eternal life with you. Let us always remember your never-failing love for each person and that because you have loved us so fully, we too must love fully in return. We are grateful for the gift of your loving Spirit in our lives. Through that same Spirit, give us renewed hearts, strong in our commitment to speak truth to power wherever and whenever needed. Give us what we most need today so that we can more effectively be your body in our world. We ask all of this of you, our Brother and with the Creator and your loving Spirit— all, one God, living and loving us forever and ever, Amen.
Let Us Pray—Again, we can’t be together to receive from the table, but do know that Jesus is always with us!
Prayer of Communion
Loving Jesus, keep within us the vigor of your Spirit and protect the gifts you have given to your Church, Loving Creator—all one God living and loving us forever and ever—Amen.