Wow, that was a Pentecost for the books! The different languages spoken and sung...the children's exuberant leadership...the words shared...the feast afterward...it was truly an experience of the Spirit's power to speak through all kinds of people in diverse, creative, surprising ways.
I'm so thankful to the seven people who shared publicly their responses to the Holy Spirit (I promise, we didn't plant any of those responses!). Their words have been informing my prayers for our church this week, and I've already heard several stories of how those words have encouraged various people who heard them.
In case you missed Sunday, or couldn't hear clearly above the absolute bedlam joyful noise, below is a general summary of what was shared:
The Spirit's presence brings peaceful companionship in our anxiety
The same Spirit whose power was manifest at Pentecost is here among us and available to us right now at Incarnation
Our worshipful presence matters in this elementary school; let's keep asking the Spirit and angels to protect the physical space and students where we worship (and in schools everywhere)
The Spirit's kindness that pervades our community is a strength and gift we have to offer an unkind world
The different languages we speak and sing testify to a God who is worshiped all over the world
We don't have to "get it right" or do something special to harness the power of the Spirit; it's fully available to us now, just as we are, and we only need to receive it
Luke 10:1-2: "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'"
That final one — the Luke passage — piqued my interest because our staff had read Luke 10:1-11 in staff meeting a few weeks ago and it had resonated deeply with us. We read it again at David's ordination. And since Sunday, I've heard that several other people in our community have been mulling over phrases from that passage over the past few weeks. What might the Spirit be saying to our community?
I invite all of us this week to ponder what was shared on Sunday and to practice discernment, trusting the Spirit to do exactly what Jesus promised: to abide with us, to teach us everything, to remind us of all Jesus has said, and to give us power to live as Jesus' witnesses (John 14:17, 26; Acts 1:8).
Come, Holy Spirit!
In other news
- Special Sunday visitor: This Sunday, we have the unexpected privilege of hosting a Pakistani Christian woman named Sajida Iqbal who runs a holistic Christian school in rural Pakistan. Sajida is staying with friends in South Arlington and wanted to visit an American church on Sunday; through a string of connections, she's coming to us! Sajida will spend a few minutes sharing about her experience during Sunday’s service (not a fundraising ask), and we will pray God's blessing over her and her ministry at the end of the service. The woman who connected me with Sajida described her work as small, faithful, gentle, and indigenous. What a profound gift to our church — especially in the wake of Pentecost! — to welcome this faithful minister from the broader global church.
Concerns, questions, prayers, needs, hopes? Please reach out. I love hearing from you and spending time with you.