Pastor’s Word

And just like that, the weirdest Easter Season most of us have ever experienced is over! Jesus
has risen from the dead, the disciples have seen and spoken to him many times. Jesus ascended
into heaven, leaving the disciples and us a promise that he would send a comforter, a guide, to be
with us forever. This Sunday, we will celebrate Pentecost, the day when the Spirit descends,
surrounds and fills us, and sends us out to proclaim the radical news of God’s abundant love, and
grace, and justice to the world. In other words, this is the day we are cut loose, freed from our
upper rooms, to be the church in the world!
 
Many of you have I am sure been following the news of the last week. We have heard
declarations that the church is essential. Yes, it is, family of faith! The sharing of the Gospel, the
claiming of the truth of God’s promises, the embodiment of God’s love for all people, is absolutely
essential. This good news is what sustained Noah and his family and all of the animals in the ark
for all those days, while they waited and watched and probably despaired as well as hoped for
land to appear, for the world to be safe again. The promise of God’s presence and care is what
brought Moses and the Israelites through their 40 year journey as exiles in the desert, searching
and wondering where they would end up at the end of the road. And it is what brings us as people
through the challenges of our lives, what carries us through these days of Covid-19 as we listen
and study and pray for guidance, waiting for signs that it is safe to gather physically again. The
church is essential. And nothing can stop us from being the church!
 
Like the disciples, we too are set free to embody the promise of God in new ways, we too are
being transformed, to be the church in our place and time, in ways we couldn’t fathom 3 months
ago, and are still discovering as we navigate our way forward together. Sustained and inspired
and strengthened and blessed by the Holy Spirit, we will watch and wait with faith and hope for
signs that it is safe to return to our common spaces, while staying physically distant to keep one
another, especially those most vulnerable, safe. And in the meantime, we are cut loose to be the
church, and we will faithfully embody the love and justice and promise of God, that essential work
that we as people of God have always been called to do.
 
Note: This Sunday I invite our members and friends to wear red for Pentecost.