May 13 2012

Happy Birthday, Christian Church!

Pentecost Sunday, May 27th

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty 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

I was sitting in the living room watching ESPN. I paused to look around at my colleagues. Peter was in one corner describing vividly his wonderful qualities as an apostle. James and John were continuing their seemingly endless, childish argument over which of them Jesus loved more. Simon the Zealot was complaining about “strangers” sitting in his place and vowing to respond accordingly if they were there again. Thomas was whining, saying that it was time to get ready for church but he wasn’t sure it was worth the effort. In other words, things were pretty much as usual for a Sunday morning.

Then suddenly, there was a sound like the rush of a mighty wind, and it blew through the whole house. And what looked like tongues of fire appeared, and one rested on each one of us! But they didn’t burn us; they . . . filled us! (Note: I was no longer quite so concerned about the Phillies’ hitting.)

The some amazing things began to happen. Everyone started speaking, but in very strange “tongues”:

  • Peter stopped his bragging and was offering to serve each of us, kneeling as he prepared to wash our feet.
  • I looked over at James and John and they were hugging and crying. I heard them saying what a gift it was for them to have each other, and what a blessing it would be to work together proclaiming God’s love.
  • Thomas was suddenly completely dressed, throwing his arms around the rest of us and shouting, “Praise God! Let’s go to worship!”
  • Simon had this funny look on his face and kept asking, “Que pasa aqui?”
  • And I found myself jumping up and down, repeating again and again, “This is wunnerful good!”

Happy Birthday, new community.

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