On the Day of Pentecost, grace plopped down into the midst of Jesus' followers and shocked the socks off everyone — so much so that you couldn’t tell a Spirit-filled apostle from a drunken fool on the street … or so the story goes. It was a confusing, throbbing, magnificent mess in which the Spirit of God was so conspicuous, so alive, so awake and irresistible that those who experienced it could only describe it by saying that the Spirit was like fire and wind. All consuming, it sounded like the blowing of a violent wind that filled the gathering place and it looked like tongues of fire that rested on each one gathered in that place.

Jesus' followers in Jerusalem that day weren’t responsible for God’s movement. The only thing they were responsible for was showing up. They were responsible for gathering together, for waiting, for praying, and those were the only meaningful jobs they had — which must have been maddening because there was no guarantee that waiting for the Lord was ever going to pay off, or take off, or whatever. They could cling to faith or they could abandon faith, but there was not much they could be sure about and nothing concrete to do and no way to control the outcome, and so they just huddled together and hoped.

As we prepare to gather and recall that first Pentecost, we remember that Christ’s church was born in wind and fire, not to sweep us heavenward, but, rather, to guide us along the many roads of this world so that we might lift up those in doubt, heal the broken, reconcile what is lost, rejoice in beauty, and seek wholeness in a fragmented world. In the midst of our human confusion and conflict, God sends a Spirit of fire and wind to shake us and stir us; to shape us and send us; to make sense of all our frenzied words and compose them into a beautiful song of grace and abundance.

Please join us Sunday, June 4, 2017, at 10:45 a.m. as we celebrate the birth of Christ's church and witness to the Spirit of God that makes sense of all our frenzied actions and prayers. We will be led in worship by our XPLOR Residents  — Alex Cooper, William Jackson, and Rachael Wentworth — who have planned, prepared, and programmed every aspect of our worship service. William will direct The Chancel Choir as they share their gifts for the last time with us before a well-deserved summer break. Please join us and wear red, if possible.