Pentecost in the Park

Today was the observance of Pentecost. It is kind of the kick-off of our summer season at church. So we picnic in the park. We worship there. We serve ice cream to those in the park. And we play a game of kick ball.

It is conspicuous. Many of us wore red (though sweatshirts ended up covering up some of that red). And a circle of people in a park--doing actions as we sang the Lord's prayer, singing together, giving each other hugs as we passed the peace--is hard not to notice.

But sometimes the church hides too much behind its walls (and sometimes it is too present in unloving ways, but that's another discussion). Pentecost celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (whom Jesus promised would be sent to give us power to be His witnesses). Pentecost celebrates the birth of the church (not just to one small group of people--there were people present that day from Africa, Europe, Asia, Arabia). It celebrates the outpouring of the gifts that the Holy Spirit bestows upon us for building up the church.

I love worshiping outside in the park. Yes it is sometimes uncomfortable as we are very noticeable--but that is part of the point. We're there in the community. I love being out in creation. I love being together with our church family as we eat, worship, serve and play.

We were gathered together in prayer, asking God to continue to pour out His Spirit upon us. The truth is we still need the Spirit's empowerment in our lives. Too often we neglect it, trying to do God's work on our own. And maybe we're running on empty too often. We need to be filled. We need the Holy Spirit to continue the work Christ puts before us. Even if it is something simple like serving ice cream to neighbors in the park. Maybe especially then.

No comments: