Our Quest for Faithful Presence
Dear St Luke’s,
This weekend is Pentecost Sunday, the day in the church’s calendar when we celebrate God’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all followers of Jesus! Often people choose to wear something red on this day. As you may know, the tradition of wearing red is not simply because red is the color of the season, rather it symbolically represents that the flame of God’s Spirit resides in each and every follower of Christ. Besides wearing red, some people light candles, others run a fan to feel wind, or listen to music in another language, still others watch subtitled movies as intentional ways of engaging the spirit of joining that is Pentecost. The Spirit works to unite that which was divided.
The same Spirit who was present with Jesus is also present with you and me… even right now. Anytime you sense an invitation to use your talents, skills and gifts to build up community, that is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Part of how our tradition understands the person of the Holy Spirit is that the Spirit is always wooing us into the life of God. Meaning the Spirit empowers us to open up to God’s Shalom for all and everything, the Spirit convicts us of things we’ve done (or left undone) which rupture relationships, and the Spirit grows our character to reflect of the very character of God… often referred to as the fruit of the Spirit. We are not abandoned by God but God is with us.
The season of Pentecost invites us to intentionally practice listening for the presence and invitation of the Spirit. Our faith invites us to image that the Spirit is always filling and guiding us – as individual persons and as a collective – to join God in God’s mission of making all things new. Our sacred texts tell us that the Spirit is a Spirit of life. What new things might God be doing? We are a resurrection people, an “Easter People” as Pastor Tom often reminded us. Suggesting that the Spirit is always birthing new life from past rubble.
Many of us sense that God is doing something fresh in and through St Luke’s. Soon Pastor Mark and the Griffiths will return, while my time of service will to a close. Our Elders, Board of Trustees (BoT), ministry teams, working groups, and staff are actively listening for how the Spirit is guiding us into our shared future… I’d imagine you’re listening too. It’s a very exciting time to be part of St Luke’s! Seasons of transition like invite prayerful, open conversation.
In this spirit of openness, our BoT recently had a conversation to begin preparing for Pastor Mark’s return. After our Worship Gatherings for the next two weeks our BoT will share some of their conversation and invite us all into listening and discerning together how the Spirit may be guiding us toward St Luke’s future of serving of God, each other, and neighbor. These Community Forums are open and welcome to all, whether you’re a long-time member or new to St Luke’s.
Please remember friend, you are loved, and you are not alone.