From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of Pentecost Sunday

Hello everyone,

The weather is looking mighty fine outside as we get closer and closer to the summer months.  Good timing too, as my two boys have their sports day this week, so here’s hoping that the weather holds up until at least then.

I loved sports day growing up, and it is all the better when the weather is nice.  Granted, we’d have fun anyway, but the weather is just a nice bonus.  And I think I always had fun because I’ve always been fortunate to be on the winning team the majority of the time (not saying that my amazing athletic prowess carried the team… but it is an amazing coincidence…), but I would imagine for those who were on the remaining three non-winning teams… well it wouldn’t be as fun (but I wouldn’t know what that would be like).

So for my kids, I noticed that they started a new thing called “Spirit Week”, where they drum up excitement around their respective teams and all the kids can get points by accomplishing different things around the school.  Stuff like collecting cans for the food bank, helping out in class, and behaving well all count to their overall point count.

I thought this was a pretty good idea as then the kids feel like they are part of the team more than if they were just ranked by their athletic ability.  It helps them see that their contributions are more than they think and that every part counts.  Also the whole spirit idea is to show the kids that winning isn’t everything, but the road leading up to it as a team is what matters more.

Which is great, because my kids aren’t exactly the most athletic (they get that from their mom).

Here are the readings for next week:
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Acts 2:1-21
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

I love Pentecost Sunday, not because I’m Pentecostal (I’m not) or I’m a big fan of those spiritual sign gifts that some Christians revel in (I don’t).  But I love it for what it represents for us as Christians, as citizens of God’s kingdom, and members of the body of Christ.  Now you might be wondering what language-inducing tongues of flame has to do with all of that, and I get that.  Typically we see the Holy Spirit as the one who empowers, who gives gifts, and who prays on our behalf using grunts and groans that we don’t understand.  That is all fine and dandy, but I think there is more than just that.

Essentially, I see the Holy Spirit very similar to the Spirit Week that my kids have leading to sports day.  Conveniently enough, their names are very similar.  But the spirit of the Holy Spirit joins us together, shows us how we’re connected, and teaches us that our contribution is more than just being a “super Christian”, but in our everyday dealings and interactions with our friends, family, and strangers.  It tells us how our role in our communities are vital for the community, whether we see them as big roles or small.  Each one of us are part of the make up of this team of God’s children, working together to make the world a better place.

So maybe you’re good at sports, your example of exercise and health motivates others to take care of themselves.  Maybe you’re good at music, your contribution to the spiritual and emotional well-being of others through their ears is valuable.  Maybe you’re good at helping people cross the street, your kindness and servant attitude will brighten anyone’s day.  Or maybe you’re good at preaching, in which case maybe you can have my job.

Whatever it is that you are called to do and whatever talent you are gifted with, as is done in the spirit of holiness and ministry, is all part of this kingdom, contributes to this community, and helps others see the fullness and love of God radiating through their lives and all around them.

That is why I love Pentecost Sunday.  It reminds us of our roles and parts to play.  And it tells us that we are all unique, special, and valuable.  Thanks be to God.

Have a great week, everyone!

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