Monday, June 2, 2014

Looking Forward to June 8, 2014 -- Pentecost Sunday

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Numbers 11:24-30
  • 1 Corinthians12:3b-13
  • Acts 2:1-21
The Sermon title is The Church is Born and Re-Born

Early Thoughts:  The Spirit blows in, transforming people who were afraid, clustered in an upper room, wondering which one of them would be hauled away next, into evangelists who can not stop talking about the glorious things God has done.  This is how a church is born.

This weekend we come to Anniversary Sunday in the United Church of Canada.  On Tuesday June 10 we will be 89 years old.  And there are some who wonder what we will  look like in 11 years for the century.  There are others who wonder if we will see the century...

I wonder if we are becoming like the original group of disciples.  Clustered together, controlled by our fear (whether we admit to that control or not is another question), wondering where the next stroke will fall, wondering how we can keep going.  Do we need the Spirit to blow into our locked rooms?  Do we want it to?  Are we ready for it?  Because let us be honest.  We can't control what the Spirit does -- we can only control our reactions to the Spirit's actions in our midst.

Pentecost Sunday is often called the "birthday" of the church.  But the church is constantly being born, and reborn, and born anew.  As the Spirit blows in and starts new fires something new is born, sometimes out of the ashes of what went before, sometimes in a whole new place or way, sometimes as an addition to the fire that is already there.

We in the church can talk about structures as a denomination.  We can rethink or tweak congregational committees and councils. We can talks about rules and regulations.  But maybe what we need is deeper than any of that.  Maybe we need the Spirit to blow in and open the windows and doors.  Maybe we need to be "clothed in power from on high" so that we can't help but go out and BE the church.

And BEing the church is the best way I can think of to the GROW the church.

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