Monday, May 21, 2012

Looking Ahead to May 27, 2012 -- Pentecost Sunday

This week we Celebrate the Sacrament of Communion, and also the Rite of Renewal of Baptismal Faith (aka Confirmation)

The Scripture Readings this week are:

  • Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Acts 2:1-21
 The Sermon title is Called to be the Church

Early Thoughts:  Whenever we say the United Church Creed we affirm that we are called to be the church.  But what does that mean?  The Creed has some suggestions, but what else might it mean?

Ezekiel was called to speak the word of God to a valley of dry bones.  And new life emerged.

On the day of Pentecost the disciples were changed from people living in fear to evangelists sharing the Good News with all they met.  And something new was born. [Full Disclosure:  In my mind PEntecost is 2nd only to Easter as the most important Festival of the Church year -- surpassing all others by a wide margin]

We are called to be the church.  And we will reflect on that statement as we welcome 2 people making a public faith statement.  And we reflect on that as we hear the story of Ezekiel and the story of Pentecost.

Does being called to be the church mean continuing what has gone before?  Or does it mean celebrating the start of something new?  Something beyond our imagining, something that comes out of nowhere, something completely surprising.  Scripture suggests the second choice.  Pentecost is often referred to as the "birthday of the church".  But it is not because we celebrate something that was born a long time ago on this day.  It is because we celebrate what is being born in the here and now.

We are called to be the church.  We are called to be open as the full meaning of that phrase is revealed to us.  And just when we think moving forward in a new way is impossible -- remember Exekiel and the dry bones, remember the disciple moving from fear to boldness. 

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