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Archive for June, 2014

                Whenever I read the account of Pentecost in Acts of the Apostles different images are awakened within my imagination. Sometimes it is the shaking house where they are worshiping reminding me of the California church in rural Sonoma County where I experienced God shaking me at five years old to wonder about life and what happens after life. Sometimes it is the apostles streaming into the streets speaking in all of the languages of the people gathered in Jerusalem reminding me both of the elementary classrooms of Berkeley I attended with children representing the whole of the community including the blind and the deaf and those walking in wheelchairs and the great diversity of peoples throughout the world and the great living diversity of creation, interrelated in a connectivity we are just beginning to comprehend in all of their degrees of separation that is simply another word for the pathways of being connected to other lives throughout space, throughout time. Sometimes it is the jeering crowd misunderstanding what God was doing in their midst and immediately moving toward judging as drunk those who were streaming from a house with a great gust of God’s wind propelling them outward reminding me how easily we speak before thinking, how easily we judge others in ways that demean, disrespect, destroy, declare as unworthy other persons, how easily we dismiss what we do not understand, how easily we fail to stop and wonder and ponder about what is happening because we strive for certainty even if it is certainty based on the foundation of ignorance, limited perspective, fear and how easily we label others, so we won’t have to face our own limitations of understanding and comprehending, our own fears and our own ignorance like my high school guidance counselor and teacher who told me I’d never amount to anything.

              Yet, as I ponder the day of Pentecost it is God’s fire of passion circling over the apostles driving them to act, to witness, to meet their neighbors where they were in the city street I am considering today. How do we experience God’s fire of passion driving us out of our houses of prayer and our homes to meet people where they are? How is God’s fire of passion driving us out of our comfort zones to speak loudly in the public square, to take the risk of likely being judged by the voices of ignorance, fear, and limited perspective. How are we experiencing God’s fire of passion moving us out beyond ourselves to ignite change within our communities, change for health, for well being, for abundance for all, for wholeness and completeness, for shalom?  But, then I wonder if we are experiencing God’s fire of passion at all as we settle for what is doable without much effort, what is practical, what is possible in the cynical world of limiting actions by those considered well meaning, but misinformed about reality. Are we even expecting or hoping for God’s fire of passion to encircle us, to fill us, to move us outward or do we simply want the illusion of passion, the contentment of attending to the symptoms of injustice without really accomplishing health, well being, wholeness, without accomplishing shalom?

           These Pentecost questions are calling me, invading my imagination, driving me to seek answers and I hope they do the same for others on this year’s day of Pentecost and throughout the season of Pentecost, the season of God’s fire of passion.

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