Today is Pentecost!

There was so much going on at church we needed to cut class a little short this morning. We did some thinking about how the commandment about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years was likely to work in practice, in a contemporary environment. How is that working out for people in the State of Israel? (The answer seems to be … it’s a challenge, and it’s not all resolved yet.) On the other hand, maybe there are resources in this ancient commandment for saving the earth, for redistributive justice, for Third World debt relief, those things.

Still, one thing is pretty obvious: the Biblical idea that God is the real owner of everything doesn’t encourage or facilitate the economic system under which we live – in which “rationality” is defined by self-interest, and our bodies are our personal private property, and all of that. To invent capitalism, people had to have figured out how the Bible no longer applied to them. Something to think about, maybe.

Special Session meeting, to examine and approve new members. Not like “you need to pass this test with at least a 75%,” more like “who exactly are you?”

And then lots of red. Lots of music. Acts 2 (of course). For the children’s message, our pastor had made up lots of red orange and yellow paper triangles with “God’s mighty deeds of power” named on each one – like “God made the heavens and the earth” and “God is love” – and the youngest person in the congregation ran all over the sanctuary giving these “tongues as of fire” to everyone, and then announced “they look like ears!” They did, at that. Maybe that’s because

In a broken and fearful world,
the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,
to hear the voices of people long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
(From A Brief Statement of Faith)

So, hey, “let anyone who has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
Revelation 22:17

(Our communion service doesn’t look like this, exactly, … OK, not at all, but we did sing this terrific song: …)


Holy Spirit represented in the form of a radiant dove