When the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. –Acts 2:1-4
On the Day of Pentecost, Sunday, June 11th, we will explore the gifts we have as individuals and as a congregation to do what matters to God in this time and place. We live in a world where we receive almost constant feedback from devices – our cell phone, computer, television, radio. We are told what we should be doing, thinking, buying, learning, and even how we should look. In this environment, it can be easy to feel pressured to be something we are not. We may feel pressured to be more tech-savvy, more intelligent, more stylish, more fit, more social – the list goes on.
When do we take the time to consider who we are as God intended us to be? When do we take the time to consider what it is that gives us joy or feeds our soul?
On the Day of Pentecost, we will do exactly this as a congregation. As a community, we will consider what abilities and gifts the Holy Spirit has given us. We will contemplate how we might use these gifts to do God’s work. By taking the time to first consider our strengths and passions, we can answer God’s call with confidence. We can serve God in a way that restores and fulfills us.
As we prepare for this event, I invite you to consider a several questions:
What are your strengths? What are the strengths of St. John’s as a congregation? How can we build on these strengths to serve others?
What are your vulnerabilities? What are the vulnerabilities of St. John’s as a congregation? How can we find the courage together to acknowledge what makes us feel exposed and open ourselves to the possibility that God is inviting us to be transformed?
What is the context in which we live and what is the community that we serve? What issues are most pressing for the people in our neighborhood? Given our strengths and resources, how might we be equipped to engage these issues?
On the first Day of Pentecost, a group of followers were transformed into apostles: leaders of a movement that would grow into the church today. These men and women did not lead this movement alone. In fact, the followers of Jesus could not have accomplished anything on their own. It was only with the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s help that the apostles were set on fire with passion and given the words to speak.
This same Holy Spirit blows within and among us still. How will we be set on fire by the Holy Spirit to do God’s work today?
In Christ, Pastor Kat