During worship this past Sunday I testified to the fact that I love and am amazed by the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. As has been the case in far too many instances than I can count, when an issue or situation in the world needs to be responded to in worship, the Holy Spirit has made it happen. “Our regularly scheduled programming” as television networks say, have consistently provided the worshipful response to even the most challenging issues.
This time, in the shadow of terror, I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke deeply to our needs. One of the great blessings we have developed in our staff is that we push each other to prepare as many of the aspects of worship in advance. In order to give ourselves the appropriate time to rehearse choral music, pick suitable hymns and make a bulletin that doesn’t distract, we like to have as much done well in advance. Continue reading →
This past Sunday we celebrated Pentecost. Often we tout Pentecost as the “birthday of the church.” This is a great image and an easy way to connect kids with the concept that the coming of the Holy Spirit marked a special event in the life of those who follow Christ. On the other hand, this birthday image can fall short. There is more to Pentecost than what our contemporary birthday celebrations mean.
I have heard more than one person say at the occasion of a birthday, “Congratulations, you survived another year.” Birthdays mark a chronological advancement, but Pentecost is more than the fact that the Church has made it through another year of Christmas, Easter, Sunday School and all the rest of the things we do in our life together. Continue reading →