Sustaining Pentecost

Thursday, Jun 7th, 2012

                While we celebrate Pentecost on one Sunday, the Sundays that follow are in the "Season after Pentecost."  It is a way of saying that Pentecost has set something new in motion, and God's people are forever changed.
 
                At faculty meeting this week Dr. Terry Rosell, Professor of Pastoral Theology--Ethics and Ministry Praxis, offered a reflection on how Pentecost is happening at Central.  We are rapidly becoming multicultural, and we do feel the rush of the Spirit as we continue to adapt.  I want to share his words with you to encourage sustaining the radical inclusion of Pentecost--with all its joys and challenges.
 
Molly T. Marshall

Picture of Multicultural Hands
 

From Acts 2:1-13

I must admit, some days it feels to me here at Central something like the Day of Pentecost. 

It all turned out well in the end, we know from retrospect. Or sorta well. But those who gathered that day weren’t sitting there in retrospect. In the moment, it felt a bit chaotic surely.

They were devout, Holy Spirit filled folk, all together in one place—until something amazing happened.

Now they are bewildered. And not all together in one place.

The winds of change came with a rush. A “violent wind.” Rushing wind. Rushing. Rushing.

There are new people, diverse peoples, in the room at the table. In other rooms, at other tables. Or no table at all.

What language are they speaking now? What do they understand? Do we understand? Do I understand? Someone please interpret this for me. Has the Spirit given anyone that ability?

Where did those flames come from? Who lit the fire under so and so?

And are those cooking fires I see, and smell? What are they cooking up for us now?

“All were amazed, and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’”

Amazement. Perplexity. Questioning.

“What does this mean?”

That it is Pentecost.

“But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’”

Skepticisim. Suspicion. Accusation. Incredulity.

“What does this mean?”

That it is Pentecost?

Holy Spirit, come.  Amen.