Honest Christianity – Pentecost – are we fulfilling the promise of our birth?

Pentecost 3Today we celebrated the church’s birthday at Hodge Hill Church with balloon’s, party poppers, bubbles, candles and birthday cake.  I (Sally) shared at our all age service and reflected a little on what the church might look like if she grew up fulfilling the potential of her birth.  So looking at the story in Acts 2.1-21 I came to the conclusion that the church would have

Lots of languages – so church should be about God bringing people from all different nations and cultures into a full and equal relationship with their God – no superiority of one tribe over another…
Lots of difference – so we don’t need to all be the same we can be who God made us to be – we are all part of God’s family, we are not clones, our diversity is to be celebrated not lamented…we all belong
Lots of the Holy Spirit – so we expect to see the fruit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest in the church.  I talked today far more about the fruit than the gifts as it seems to me in a world full of so much conflict that if we lived out lives where the fruit of the Holy Spirit flourished then there may be a little less conflict in the world…
I finished with this which I found on Jan Richardson’s amazing website the painted prayerbook and each time I read it something fresh resonates and I am encouraged again that the Holy Spirit is at work in our world today, I just need to look, listen, watch and join in.

This Grace That Scorches Us
A Blessing for Pentecost Day
Here’s one thing
you must understand
about this blessing:
it is not
for you alone.
It is stubborn
about this;
do not even try
to lay hold of it
if you are by yourself,
thinking you can carry it
on your own.
To bear this blessing,
you must first take yourself
to a place where everyone
does not look like you
or think like you,
a place where they do not
believe precisely as you believe,
where their thoughts
and ideas and gestures
are not exact echoes
of your own.
Bring your sorrow. Bring your grief.
Bring your fear. Bring your weariness,
your pain, your disgust at how broken
the world is, how fractured,
how fragmented
by its fighting, its wars,
its hungers, its penchant for power,
its ceaseless repetition
of the history it refuses
to rise above.
I will not tell you
this blessing will fix all that.
But in the place
where you have gathered,
wait.
Watch.
Listen.
Lay aside your inability
to be surprised,
your resistance to what you
do not understand.
See then whether this blessing
turns to flame on your tongue,
sets you to speaking
what you cannot fathom
or opens your ear
to a language
beyond your imagining
that comes as a knowing
in your bones
a clarity
in your heart
that tells you
this is the reason
we were made,
for this ache
that finally opens us,
for this struggle, this grace
that scorches us
toward one another
and into
the blazing day.
© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com

 

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