This month, on May 20th, we will celebrate the “birthday” of the church, the day the Holy Spirit fills the disciples and calls them to be the church, the day of Pentecost. 50 days after Easter, and right after Jesus is ascended into heaven, we recognize that we as Christ’s disciples are called to go and to continue his ministry filled with the power, the intelligence, imagination and love of the Holy Spirit. In Hebrew, it is the breath of God; in Greek, it’s the wind. John calls the Spirit the Advocate; Acts says it was a rushing wind and tongues of flames. However, Pentecost is less about what the Holy Spirit is and more about what the Holy Spirit does through us. Poet Ann Weems wrote in her poem, “The Church Year “ about what the Holy Spirit can do among us.
The church is Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit is poured out upon us
and sends us out together
aflame with new life,
inheritors of the wealth of God:
We are liberated from the prisons of pettiness,
jealousy, and greed,
liberated to be the church.
We are freed to free others.
We are affirmed to affirm others.
We are loved to love others.
We are family;
we are community.
We are the church triumphant –
you, me, anyone who would come unto the Lord –
renewed, redirected, empowered
to change things and lives
together in love and wholeness.
We are the Lord’s church,
the church of justice and mercy,
the people sent to open prisons,
to heal the sick
to clothe the naked
to feed the hungry
to be alleluias when there is no music.
The mantle is upon our shoulders.
Joy is apparent in our living.
We have been commissioned to be the church of Jesus Christ.