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Reflections on Pentecost

by Anna Hartge

The Day of Pentecost Acts 2:1-4 NRSV
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Pentecost is an excellent time to search the scriptures for guidance in the work of racial reconciliation through the church. For the next several weeks Grace and Race Ministries, Inc will publish reflections on Pentecost based on one of the weekly texts from the Revised Common Lectionary.

Sunday, June 6, 2010 Second Sunday after Pentecost

I was driving one afternoon and noticed an advertisement on the back of a bus. There was an image of a church building overshadowed with a large group of people. Splashed across these pictures were these large letters C H _ _ C H, followed by the question “What’s missing from this picture?” I chuckled as I continued on my journey for the day.

I could imagine the converted Paul using such a technique to draw attention to the need for others to become a part of the church. Some biblical scholars suggest that Paul’s letter to the Galatians was written to Jewish Christians who believed in Jesus as the Messiah. These believers were willing to welcome others into the community of faith only if they followed the Mosaic Law, were circumcised and adopted a Jewish way of life by doing the works of the Law.

In Galatians 1:11-17 the apostle Paul shares his testimony reminding the listeners that he himself once persecuted and tried to destroy the church of God. Paul came to realize that he was missing God’s plan for his life and he became a bold witness for Christ. These believers were supposedly “in the church” but their actions were indicated they were falling out of step with the Spirit of Christ.

Dr. Laurence Stookey wrote in his book Calendar: Christ’s Time for the Church the Day of Pentecost in Christian worship is primarily about the church as corporate community. “The church is a community called together by the Spirit of the Risen One. It is not something we choose to do…but something to which we are summoned. The Risen One, who is present at all times and in all places, seeks to bind together by action of the Spirit all things that have been wrongly separated”. P.76 (Emphasis added)

To become Ambassadors of Racial Reconciliation we must examine our corporate church and individual lives. Consider these questions how is the action of the Holy Spirit working to bind things together in your church? Are you sure  U R (you are) in step with the Spirit in your relationships with others.?

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