This Sunday we will gather both online for Trinity@Home and in pe-person for Trinity@316 to celebrate the Feast Day of Pentecost. One of the most ancient feasts of the Church, Pentecost is often referred to as the “birth”-day of the church.
On this day we read the story from the book of Acts recounting the original Pentecost. It is a dramatic account of the in-breaking of a mighty wind filling the house where the disciples were gathered followed by the appearance of “parted tongues as it were of fire,” (Acts 2:2). What happens next is truly “holy chaos”! Crowds form and languages of all kinds are heard and amazingly understood, and out of the cacophony of sound and wild energy and confusion provoking wonder and skepticism alike, a kind of faithful clarity seems to emerge resulting in the conversion and baptism of “about 3,000” people. It is a story rich in both meaning and mystery for us as well.
As we gather I am going to invite us into a time to wonder together what kinds of things we want to hold onto from our rich tradition, as well as what kinds of things we may be ready to challenge and even set aside. I will suggest that we are living in a time when becoming “both/and” people is perhaps more important than ever.
And, as I love giving gifts on special days, I will end by offering the following.
It is a benediction of sorts; a re-writing of the Beatitudes found in the gospel according to Matthew. Written by Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz Weber in 2018, the words help jar me into this new posture of “both/and” living.
These are words reminding us who we are called to be as a people, creating a place of unlimited and radical welcome; a place of sanctuary and sustenance; a place of challenge and courage; a place of dignity and respect for all.
May these words blow into our lives like the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit- come to set our hearts on fire for the Gospel.
New Beatitudes for a Hurting World
Blessed are the agnostics.
Blessed are they who doubt.
Blessed are those who have nothing to offer.
Blessed are the preschoolers who cut in line at communion.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
Blessed are those whom no one else notices.
Blessed are The kids who sit alone at middle-school lunch tables.
Blessed are The laundry guys at the hospital.
Blessed are The sex workers and the night-shift street sweepers.
Blessed are The closeted.
Blessed are The teens who have to figure out ways to hide the new cuts on their arms.
Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like.
Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried.
Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else.
Blessed are those who “still aren’t over it yet.”
Blessed are those who mourn. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you…
Jesus was God’s Beatitude –
God’s blessing to the weak in a world that admires only the strong.
May you never forget that you are loved.