“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound, like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:1-2
On Sunday, May 20th, we will celebrate the great feast of Pentecost. This holy day is described as “the birthday of the Church”. The celebration often includes baptism, red balloons and sometimes even a cake.
But, of course, the significance of the day is so much more. The theologian Yves Congar describes it eloquently: “All the evangelists stress the existence of a dynamic continuity between Christ and the Church. This continuity is the fulfillment of what God had promised from the beginning in accordance with his plan of grace.” In other words, Jesus does not abandon his disciples upon ascending to his Father. He sends the Holy Spirit to inspire and empower Christians everywhere and throughout time to fulfill the mission he has entrusted to us. We are not just a social service agency that worships, prays, and engages in pastoral care. We are the Body of Christ at work and God’s spirit lives within us. Apart from that Holy Spirit, we can do very little.
A wonderful illustration of this is our annual Hunt Country Stable Tour to be conducted this year over the weekend of May 26th-27th. Yes, this is an extraordinary event that has as its primary goal the raising of funds to support our outreach ministries. But it is so much more than that. It is a weekend that depends entirely upon the Holy Spirit working in each one of us on the church grounds and at each of the farms and other venues. We will be exercising the ministry of hospitality and we will need the Spirit to inspire us to do so. Furthermore, the entire congregation is called to participate. We cannot make the Stable Tour as spirit-filled as it can be unless we are all present. I do hope and pray that you will sign up and join in the celebration.
Finally, I am thankful to report that Bishop Ted Gulick will be with us on Sunday, June 17th. He will celebrate Confirmation, another moment filled with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, at the 10:30am service. If you are presently in the 8th grade or above (i.e. adults), and are interested in being confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, please let me know as soon as possible.
Come, Holy Spirit, our souls inspire. May this month be for us a powerful experience of God at work in our community.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rev. Rob Banse