It's the greening of our church. The red of inspiration settling in to the green of responsibility.
Responsibility: Response-ability. “As the Spirit gave them ability." (Acts 2:4b)
Not a duty. Not a burden. An ability. A freedom.
Response-ability: The freedom, or ability, to respond.
II. We will be hearing a lot about the Holy Spirit these next six months during the season of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit: the full expression of God within and among us – testifying to our ingrained ability to respond. It first flashes forth in hearts afire: the great “aha!” the Day of Pentecost. Then simmering, simmering, simmering, so we can till our own soil, sit beneath our own tongue of divine fire, coax our own green from within. Cultivating among ourselves what sharecropping our souls to an external, omnipotent, God-in-the-heavens can never provide, and can only oppress. What an external God can only oppress, once we know we are freely empowered by God’s gift of the Holy Spirit among us.
For when our response-ability is claimed, almost without exception we find, with Jesus’ disciples of yore, that we are tapping into an unsuspected inner resource we presently identify with the God we have worshipped all along. Connecting this inner resource with the God we worship we find is the essence of a spiritual experience. Some call it God-consciousness. Our scriptures call it Pentecost.
- When we were children, we were dependent on our guardians. As were Jesus’ followers dependent upon him.
- When we left home, we became independent. As did Jesus’ disciples when he declared them so at the Last Supper: “This is my body, broken for you.” Here, he is saying – You are my body now! Here is your Declaration of Independence!
- And then, when we laid claim to our adulthood, we celebrated our independence by finding “our call among all” – our singular contributions to the common good. We became interdependent.
What a witness potential ours is, midst a world where agencies and policies and bureaus and institutions are prone to deny the integrity of God’s kingdom represented in the natural diversity of creation. Yes, even the church – especially the church: We can deny this diverse expression of God’s unity. Diversity represented in the languages of Pentecost. Diversity beginning with the faces around our Communion table.
Our Pentecost season: roughly half of the church year.
Our Pentecost season: our adult discipleship life.
Our Pentecost season: the ability we are given to respond, the freedom we are given to serve.
What a joy!