The day of Pentecost marks the birthing of a new movement of God in the world. As the story goes, Jesus’ students and friends were gathered for the annual harvest festival that included a communal meal to which the poor were invited. During the celebration, something incredible happened:
…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.
The church is born in sound, fury and fire. It rests upon individuals yet is gifted to speak universally. The helper, sent by God, the one known as the Holy Spirit, anoints and equips the early followers of Jesus and inspires them to make a “Way” in the world. We are the inheritors of that tradition, the keepers of The Way.
Pentecost Sunday, May 19, is also Confirmation Sunday. On this day a few of our young people will stand before our congregation and publicly commit themselves to the Christian faith and the work of the church in the world. In order for us to fully support the next generation of church, I believe we should all consider our answers to these questions:
• Do you believe in God?
• Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
• Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
• Do you renounce the powers of evil and desire the freedom of new life in Christ?
• Do you profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
• Do you promise, by the grace of God, to be Christ’s disciple, to follow in the way of our Savior, to resist oppression and evil, to show love and justice, and to witness to the work and word of Jesus Christ as best you are able
These are profound questions with challenging answers, answers that evolve over a lifetime. During the rite of confirmation you will have an opportunity to publicly speak your affirmation of these questions and to trust in God’s grace no matter how bold or timid the sound of your yes. Pentecost is an exciting day in the life of the church, please come and encourage our confirmands and share in the vitality of our Christian community.