This weekend is Pentecost – the day when we remember and celebrate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to the church. It is a sort of birthday in many ways. And it comes once a year, fifty days after Easter, to remind us of one key question:
Are we ready for what God is asking us to do?
The arrival of the Holy Spirit is not something to be taken lightly. Though we have lived with it all of our lives, the Breath of God never stops moving. Always pushing us. Prodding us. Challenging us. Getting us ready for whatever God is wanting us to do.
There are many things we can say God is asking us to do at this time. To wear masks because we care as much for our neighbors as we do for our own families. To keep our distance as much as possible because God tells us to care about all others and we are smart enough to realize that a pandemic that has killed over 100,000 people in months (more than the number of soldiers we have lost in every foreign war combined since WWII) is nothing to ignore. To visit the sick (or FaceTiming them). To get groceries to the homebound and disenfranchised. To support small businesses and food pantries. To be kind to workers everywhere.
But there are other ways the Spirit is pushing us, too. God’s Breath wants us to fight for all people to keep breathing. To stand against bullies and violence. To speak truth to those in power that racism, sexism, bigotry, white supremacy, and hatred in all its forms are sin and are not in God’s purposes. To work with our brothers and sisters in our own communities and all over the world seeking justice, peace, and hope for all of God’s children.
Yes, the Holy Spirit is definitely pushing us right now. God always keeps pressing until we’re out of our comfort zone. And Jesus always cared about peoples’ lives on this earth, here and now, as much as any afterlife, which means we’re supposed to, too.
So what is God’s Spirit asking you to do this Pentecost week?
Do be careful when you ask that question – God’s answer may not be an easy order to fill. Yet we can always trust in this: God will be with us wherever we go.
Blessings, Pastor Janie