All shook up

Sunday is Graduation Day around here.  Sunday is Memorial Day weekend.  Sunday is also Pentecost.  It will get lost in our other celebrations, but it is one of Christianity’s “high holy days.”   Christmas and Easter are the other two.

We celebrate on all three of these holy-days that God is in the business of shaking things up, of upending our settled ideas about what is possible.  We all know that God is God, and humanity is humanity.  We all know the wide gulf that exists between God and the creation.  And yet….At Christmas God shakes things up and become a child shaking up what we know for sure.

We all know dead is dead and there’s nothing to do about that.  We all know that life is limited to just so much time, so many years.  And yet….  At Easter God shakes things up.  God raised Jesus from the dead.  He lives even now and prays for us in God’s ear.  Dead isn’t dead anymore.

We all know that we’re on our own in this world.  We confront impossible situations in our lives in which we are helpless and hopeless.  That’s the way of the world.  Loss and grief, betrayal and denial, dead end after dead end.  And yet….  God shakes things up at Pentecost.  Our ears are filled with the sound like a mighty rushing wind.  Our eyes see lights, like tongues of fire.  Our voices speak words that come from someplace else.  The Spirit of God invades life.  No longer hopeless and helpless, dead ends open up.  The Spirit “intercedes for us with sighs to deep for words to express.”  We are not alone.  We are part and parcel of a world God loves so dearly. 

I’ll be preaching this weekend in a couple of churches in our synod.  These small churches have a bleak future.  But on Sunday the Spirit will be there interceding, empowering, kicking them out into the world where they join in God’s continuing redemption of a world groaning for that help and hope.

Joyful Pentecost everyone.  Let the day shake you up!

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