Life seems to be filled with waiting, anticipation and hope. This month students can’t wait for school to get out for the summer, and seniors are anxiously waiting to graduate. In our synod we are waiting for the Spirit to call a new Bishop (our present Bishop Ralph Jones will be retiring the end of August after serving 18 years). June brides wait nervously in hopeful anticipat9on of that special day. Then there are those everyday experiences: waiting in grocery stores lines and restaurants, or at traffic lights and road construction sites. We are an impatient people.
In Acts 2 we find the Jesus’ disciples waiting. Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended into heaven. He promised that he would send his Advocate, his Counselor, his Spirit to them. The disciples were again in the Upper Room. It was now 50 days after he rose from the dead. People were gathering in the city for the Festival of Pentecost, an agricultural festival, known as the Feast of Weeks, celebrated 50 days after Passover.
“And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”
The waiting was over, the church was born! The Spirit spread out into the streets. It was said that there were 3,000 converts that day! Two thousand years later, we Christians also wait.
We wait perhaps for some sign, some assurance that Jesus is still with us, especially during those times when we fell most alone and bewildered by the apparent triumph of violence and evil in the world. When will peace come?
On June 9th we will celebrate the festival of Pentecost. Our paraments up front will be red and many people will wear red, the color of fire and passion. We will sing hymn like- “Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire.” Perhaps we will also hear that voice if we listen. That voice saying that we are to spread the Word by word of mouth or example. Whether we are knocked out of our pews or hear that “still small voice of God,” the Holy Spirit will be with us, guiding us into the daily unknowns which we must face in this life. The Spirit will drive out our fears and enable us to take one day at a time in faith, a faith which may be hesitant at times, but nonetheless there if we call upon Christ in the Spirit. The Spirit is truly a person of the Trinity, not a dove or a tongue of fire, but an interior lover praying for us in those times of loneliness and pain, with words we cannot express in our darkest hours. So expect to be surprised by God. Expect good things to occur. Believe in the Spirit and the power of God. Trust in it, and marvelous things will happen in your life.
Awaiting the Spirit,