This is the central story for Pentecost. Tons of meaning here. Tons of places to go. But in some ways, I wonder if it is a bit overdone… if the extraordinary nature of this narrative makes it seem too far removed from the more mundane world of faith in which you and I live. Not that it is a bad thing to look at the spirit’s amazing and over-the-top deeds, but does it in some way negate the idea of the spirit as also that still small voice? Sometimes “the rush of a violent wind” is indeed the spirit as it was in the upper room. But sometimes, maybe more often even, the rush of a violent wind is just a violent wind. In Job’s story, the windstorm wasn’t anything but a windstorm. “God was not in the wind”. God was in the quiet. That said, I will of course be hitting this text on Sunday. And we will have a new firepot there in the worship space to put a visual of the tongues of fire out there among us. But there is another lesson that has just as much pentecost meaning for where God is at work in the world.
Numbers 11:24-30 (alternate reading)
Why do we have to have two great alternate readings? I love the line in here “Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!” How do we try to patent and keep our monopoly on God? That’s what the elders who were wanting Moses to stop Eldad and Medad were doing. Saying “Pastor… stop them from preaching / teaching / ministering / whatevering, they aren’t Lutheran / pastors / haven’t gone to seminary / have only been members here a while / aren’t from town / weren’t born here and have only been around a couple years / decades.” Another famous line in the church is “Well… (hurumph and cross arms) Whoever did that doesn’t know how we do things.” Usually said when things worked just fine but not the way that person liked it. Yeah, I could go on. Don’t know how this will show up on Sunday but it probably will.
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
At some point growing up, probably in middle school and confirmation class, the church we went to started putting this line in the bulletin on the staff list: “Ministers: Every member of Triumphant Love is a minister”. I remember not liking that. Pastor Reswik was the minister. Not all of us. Whoa did he have a lot to tell me. He made me read this passage. This is where it is at. This is the point of pentecost. This is the pentecost text that doesn’t get too over the top but instead is down to the nitty gritty in church life. It says that everyone has their place, and that without EVERY minister in the body, nothing works. Here are a couple of pieces that I’d show / use if we had the technology to do it.
This one is more about the song… though the video is cool.
Then this one…
The whole point of Pentecost is that when it gets in us, we can’t help but do what God is calling us to do and be. Pentecost is about being out of control and on a ride. I can tell you that I’ve felt out of control and on a ride in the last year. And I’ve grown to love it. And good stuff is going on. Pentecost is going on.
See you Sunday. The service is totally planned by our four confirmands. They are leading all but the sermon, presiding at the affirmation of Baptism, and at communion. They are doing everything else. I haven’t been this excited about confirmation probably ever.
Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!