From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of Pentecost Sunday

Hello everyone,

So we’re well into Phase 2 of our province opening back up and I see a lot of people enjoying their new freedom and amenities. I see a lot of people with haircuts (except me) and I noticed a lot more people at the mall the other day. Schools are opening too, albeit in very limited numbers. And to not stress the system, we’ve decided that our kids won’t go until September.

This is absolutely fine with 2/3 of our kids, and the remaining one isn’t that bothered by it when he’s reminded of all the free time he can still have… and a bit easier schedule. Without a full day of school and extracurricular activities as these kids are normally involved in, they can be a bit more relaxed and even sleep later than usual… but not that much later.

I notice that one of them really likes to stay up late, but man alive does that ever make him grumpy. So we have to make sure that he goes to bed at a respectable hour, much to his own protest.

Which, ironically, proves our point even more.

Sometimes the thing that we really need (in this case sleep), is the thing we resist or fear the most (major FOMO with these kids). But sometimes letting our guard down is really the way to go and listen to the sage advice from others (like your parents) on what is and isn’t good for you.

Anyway, here are the readings for next week:
Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
John 20:19-23

This coming Sunday is when we celebrate the Day of Pentecost, the day that the promised Spirit enters the lives of the disciples in a very visible way. It is the day of the church year that we also set forth with what we have learned about Jesus thus far through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter, and see what the church can do with that knowledge in ministry, in service, and in just being the church in our neighbourhoods and beyond.

And I admit, that often sounds scary. It often sounds scary to think we have this responsibility that we might not feel ready for. It is often scary to think that we are bearers of God’s good news when we sometimes feel like we barely know that good news ourselves. It is often scary for us to venture out of our comfort zones and do things that we perhaps have never done before or even thought about doing.

This gets me to think about the time that we’re in now. Even though businesses are opening up and more people are allowed to gather now, we might not be safe to gather within the doors of the church building for some time. This is different from what we’re used to and not what we expected. So it can even be scary in that we don’t know what the future will look like.

But then I think of Jesus’ words here when he is breathing the Spirit onto the disciples. He says “peace be with you” and breathes on them the Spirit. Peace be with you, and the bestows on them the Spirit that changes everything.

Now, I don’t think it was a kind of warning, like Jesus wishes them peace because they’ll need it, kind of thing. But I think Jesus is saying that they are one and the same. In that, the Spirit is peace, being stirred by the Spirit is what we need, the Spirit driving us into new and uncharted places can be life giving.

Although we might resist the change that has been put upon us by this pandemic, I believe the Spirit is in here, leading us, guiding us, and above all, giving us peace. Peace in the uncertainty. Peace in the anxiety. Peace in the fear of what may come.

So we can, with confidence, march into the future unafraid of the changes that are to come. We can move on with this new way of life, cherishing what we had but at the same time excited for how God is moving. We can find peace in knowing that it is the Spirit in front of us, also behind us, present and empowering, calling and sending forth, and strengthening us to be the church in the world.

Yes, it can be a scary time. But it can also be a time of peace as the Spirit has been breathed into us and gives us things that can be scary but ultimately is what is good for us.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week everyone!

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