Dear friends…

This Sunday’s Worship gathering brings a favorite tradition in the celebration of Pentecost. As many of us will recall, this is a time after Jesus “was lifted up and a cloud took him out of [the disciples’] sight.” as noted in Acts 1:9b. The text tells us that the disciples immediately went into Jerusalem to an upper room. They invited Matthias to join the leadership gap left unfilled by Judas, and then…

Then, they huddled in place. They sheltered. I imagine that they were filled with conflicting emotions. They had seen the horror of crucifixion and the mind-blowing wonder of Jesus’ resurrection. The roller coaster of emotions must have left them exhausted.

To me, this all sounds terribly familiar. It is in this environment that the Holy Spirit came to them, inspired them, filled them, and called them anew into service.

A friend of mine is the Pastor at San Louis Obispo United Methodist Church. If there’s anyone who loves Pentecost more than I do, it’s the Rev. Rick Uhls! It is not uncommon for Pastor Rick to rent confetti cannons to loudly proclaim the arrival of the Holy Spirit, generally to some amount of surprise even to the one who triggers the report. It is not uncommon for Pastor Rick to wear his solid red suit—complete with tails and red Converse All-Stars—to worship and loudly proclaim himself Rev. Pentecost!

While I don’t quite share Pastor Rick’s enthusiasm for Pentecost (at least to his extent), I do surely share his love for Pentecost. This is the beginning of the Christian church! It begins with inspiration and creativity and joy! And it begins with its fair share of criticism. Doesn’t this also sound terribly familiar?

Friends, I invite you to join me in sheltering, in inspiration, and even in being criticized. I believe that God’s inspiration is calling us into a new thing, a new thing that may seem unusual and even difficult. Even so, let us remember that following God’s true inspiration is a powerful way to engage in God’s creativity!

God is doing a new thing in us! Let us be inspired and filled with joy!

Pastor Bob