On May 23, most main-line denominations celebrated Pentecost Sunday. For those of you who do not know what this Sunday is about, it is known as the birthday of the church.
Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Passover and was called the Festival of Weeks, which is one of the annual festivals found in Deuteronomy 16. Jesus was crucified at Passover and he ascended 40 days after his resurrection.
Then, the Holy Spirit came 50 days after the resurrection and filled the house where the disciples and many others were gathered. It became known worldwide as the harvest of new believers – the first converts to Christianity.
Even though this day of Pentecost happened many years ago, it is and must be celebrated today. When we get stuck in our ways or patterns, we tend to backslide a bit and tend to feel as if God does not appreciate us anymore. We want to do something different, yet we are not sure how to move in that direction. Thank goodness we have something that can help us change, and that something is the Holy Spirit.
When we turn ourselves to God, He sends the Holy Spirit to fill us and guide us to that new and different way. Yes, it sure can be a scary step, though if listening intently to what and where It is guiding, the new way can be an amazing journey.
After a year of pandemic life, there have been many questions about what will life look like after? Are we being asked to go back to what we were doing or are we being asked to change and do something different?
The whole meaning of Pentecost is to make things new, to do something that might not be what was normal for you. We have had a year to contemplate that and already it seems as if we are longing for the normal to return. The question there is was it really working for us? Someone asked me during the pandemic if God was teaching us a lesson with this or was the pandemic an evil conspiracy.
Well, honestly, I am not sure which way to answer; however, I would like to believe God was and still is trying to speak to those of us who are listening. And, He is wanting us to change or do something different.
Now, what that different is, I am not sure. I would say it is for each of us to figure that out. As far as the church setting, that too, would be something for each of the church bodies to figure out.
Maybe re-evaluating everything that we have done in the past and seeing what fruits of the spirit were truly being upheld, is one way to do that. And maybe another way is to lean into one or two amazing ministries that the whole body can do together and do it well.
Blessings to all, as we make things new and learn together.
Rev. Dixie Laube is pastor at Osage UCC and Eden Presbyterian Church. She can be reached at 612-812-7942.