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Letter from Amy: May 22, 2024


The Coming of the Holy Spirit, He Qi

Dear Incarnation,


I love Pentecost, and I especially love celebrating it at Incarnation, paper airplanes and toddling crucifers and all. The multilingual Acts reading always moves me to tears, and each year I am amazed: where did all those languages come from?!?


At the open mic time this year, I was awed that people just . . . kept . . . coming. I so appreciated the diversity of experiences and perspectives that each person shared. From stories of miraculous language gifts outside a Spanish nightclub; to pleas to eschew nationalism and serve the poor; to longings and gratitude for healing; to our children's delight in beauty for beauty's sake; and so much more — I was moved to tears by the courage, voices, and gifts of our congregation. Treasures in earthen vessels, each of you.


I wanted to share again the descriptions of the gifts that were read on Sunday before the candle lighting. The Isaiah passage, gifts descriptions, and practice of lighting candles as prayers all come to us from Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, our children's faith formation program. I am grateful to the children for sharing this Atrium ritual with us as part of their leadership on Pentecost Sunday.


Perhaps you would like to continue to pray for one of these gifts to empower you for the work God has given you to do:


And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,

   the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

   the Spirit of counsel and might,

   the Spirit of knowledge and wonder.

And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2-3a)


Wisdom:

  • To be wise in the ways of God

  • To recognize the path and call of God

  • To value what’s important


Understanding:

  • To understand God’s will

  • To see things clearly

  • To have insight into the mysteries of faith


Counsel:

  • To listen to God in our hearts

  • To receive God’s guidance about what should be done, and how to do it


Strength (or "might"):

  • To go on even when it’s hard

  • To have the strength to love God and to do God’s will


Knowledge:

  • To learn more deeply about God

  • To know God’s love more and more each day

  • To know God’s reflection in all of creation


Wonder (and awe, or "fear of the Lord"):

  • To be aware of God’s greatness

  • To live in reverent amazement


Delight (or "piety," or "reverence"):

  • To humbly delight in the Lord

  • To delight in God’s presence


May God graciously and generously rest his Spirit upon us all.


***


This Sunday we will celebrate Trinity Sunday, when we contemplate the wonder of our God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We will also baptize Chloe Goebel! The Spirit will be with us, bestowing new life on Chloe and empowering our community to welcome her into the family of faith. Russell will introduce a new-to-Incarnation song that you can listen to below. I can't wait!


Yours in the Spirit,

Amy




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