Sunday, May 20 2018
When the day of Pentecost had come, they 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).
St. John’s offers an incredible variety of ministries and opportunities for spiritual growth. This Sunday is the UTO Ingathering and Newcomers Sunday. Today we will ask for donations to the United Thank Offering and we ask everyone to come back and meet our new members at coffee hour. In addition, I will encourage our newcomers to join a ministry at St. John’s. We have Morning Prayer, EFM, Bible Study, Friday Breakfast, Spirituality Group Quiet Days, Friday Night Out, Hilda’s Group, ECW, Altar Guild, and the Thrift Shop (to name a few). God is truly awesome, and our congregation has unlimited potential when we align ourselves with God’s transforming love.
Herbert O’Driscoll, renowned Anglican theologian and preacher, believes that God offers all of us this transforming love, but the heartbreaking paradox is that even though we desire meaning, purpose and fulfillment more than ever in our age, the many demands for our time and sheer busyness in our lives often push God’s transforming grace to the periphery of our thoughts.
Our rational, linear world-view can squeeze out the possibility of seeing the breaking in of God into our world and the gift of God’s love. Without signs and windows, we slide back to a darkened world where we blame sin for our afflictions, where we search for meaning that we cannot find, and where we attempt to earn grace that cannot be bought.
As the rector of St. John’s, my responsibility is to help you experience the presence of Jesus Christ in the scriptures and in the breaking of the bread. If you would like to journey deeper in your spiritual life, I recommend talking to me, joining our bible study on Tuesdays at 11:00, EFM on Monday nights next Fall, or picking up a copy of our book of the month, Verna Dozier’s The Dream of God.
The Good News of the Gospel is not just that Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. The life changing, transforming love that God offers us unconditionally is offered readily through the Holy Spirit in the real presence of Jesus Christ. We have a fabulous opportunity through the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the transforming love of God to our friends, neighbors, and family. A good example of this is our efforts of our Racial Reconciliation Ministry.
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. We gather together like the disciples and the hundred and twenty others in today’s lesson from Acts. The Holy Spirit is definitely here, but we must have faith in God’s presence. I’m not sure you will see tongues of fire, but I hope you will feel the love of this church. The Holy Spirit brings us together to love one another as Christ loves us.
In Christ’s love,