I didn’t preach this Pentecost.
Instead, my congregation graciously supported my taking a Sunday off, so that we could attend birthday parties and ballet recitals for our girls. At first it was strange not to preach on the culmination of the Eastertide season, but then I thought about the revelation and inspiration that can come when we change our routine and encounter something different.
I don’t think those gathered expected the rush of wind or the fiery flames to come and rest above their heads, nor did they anticipate being able to speak in different languages once things had settled down a bit. No, I think that even though the text tells us that it was the Day of Pentecost, those who were about to experience the Spirit of God coming down had no idea what was about to happen.
Perhaps it is because of my own story of how I entered into ministry that was so unexpected and sudden that I identify so strongly with this unexpected turn of events; or perhaps it’s because for the past three years I was surrounded by classmates who had similar stories. The unexpected twists and turns of the gospel message allow room for anything to happen.
For some, I am sure that’s a scary proposition. One worth hiding from and even running from.
For some, it is the most exciting part of the story. One worth hoping for and striving for.
Pentecost for me is the reminder that the divine is mysterious and powerful and still has the ability to knock the wind out of us and change every word that comes out of our mouths. May the spirit-filled air envelope us all.