Parents gave me the “what were you thinking” look last Sunday. I armed their children–yes 3 year olds and even 5th grade boys–with pointed sticks and fire. The fun-loving creative educator in me thought….We should celebrate Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit with fire and roasted marshmallows. The Sunday school teachers wondered…Is she really going to furnish the kids in my class with a weapon? Yep!
Pentecost is this weekend. (Sunday school celebrated a week early.) On Pentecost we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. Read about it in Acts 2:1-21. You may remember the sound of the rushing wind and the dancing fires on the heads of the disciples. Imagine their astonishment when they communicate in other languages and boldly tell about Jesus.
In the gospel of John, Jesus says he has to leave so the Holy Spirit (Advocate) can come. Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit coming not only to the disciples of old, but to present day followers of Jesus too. At Baptism God claims us and sends the Holy Spirit to each of us.
Sometimes I want to ask God, “What were you thinking?” Turning the Holy Spirit loose in ordinary people? Giving power to 3 year olds, 5th grade boys, and graduates? What were you thinking God, when you entrusted your message of hope, grace, forgiveness, and love to flawed, impatient, and messy humans beings?
• Maybe God knows that each of us is capable of more than we can imagine. With the Holy Spirit’s transforming power we can change ourselves and the world for good.
• Maybe God knows that the young, ignored, weak, and vulnerable have much to teach the world, if only we would listen to God’s Spirit within them.
• Maybe the terrible power of fire and wind needs to tear down walls and false understandings so new life can grow.
On this Pentecost Sunday, remember you are armed with God’s Spirit–with the power to love, forgive, hope, and connect in Jesus’ name. So go out boldly!
In case you wondered…There were no fatalities or injuries at the Sunday school celebration, although one of the youngest ended up with too many bubbles. A special thank you to Joe W. who supervised the fire, sticks, and “armed” children.