Dear St Matthew’s Family,
Pentecost, the festival of the spirit, is coming. At the first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit set out into the world through us and in us. The spirit began moving where it chooses, often catching us unaware, and still breathing the breath of God.
The Holy Spirit forever breathes light and love through all that inspires and even through that which does not. From the sending of the original disciples, through Pentecost and into the world to come, Jesus “breathed on the disciples and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20) Jesus said this and did this as he ushered his disciples into the work they were called to do. Jesus would no longer be directly by their side but with them through the spirit of love that blows where it chooses. Jesus would only leave them in one sense, for his spirit would never leave.
This is the spirit that “came suddenly from heaven … and it filled the entire house where they were sitting… All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 2) This spirit filled and animated those disciples just as it still does today—settling on, inspiring in, and breezing through—guiding them through what was, what is, and what will be.
The Holy Spirit has been depicted in a variety of ways, one way has been as a dove. This year we are going to lift up our prayers of the spirit literally and symbolically by writing a large or small prayer and then folding it into an origami dove to be part of a Pentecost/Holy Trinity mobile in the sanctuary. Starting this Sunday, May 21, through Sunday, June 4, we will have the opportunity to lift up and send our prayers following the service.
Your prayers can, as always, be for anything and anyone. AND this might be a great time to think about the what was, what is, and what will be of St Matthew’s. What are we thankful for? What makes us nervous or anxious? What do you pray will be our future? What do we hope to learn, do, and be? What can we let go of? And to what do we need to hang on? Or another way to think about it…we can offer prayers for upcoming transitions in our congregation, prayers for clarification of our mission, and prayers for the new pastor.
Let us lift these prayers in this end of the season of Easter. It feels appropriate on so many levels, as Easter and Spring annually point us to promise and possibility. This is laid out so boldly as we remember the stories and traditions of our faith, as we watch the world come back to life in deep greens and vibrant floral, and as we celebrate the many commencements in academia. All of it points to new life, rebirth, and what is to come. It is all grounded in what was, inviting our attention today as we know this sows the seeds of what will be.
May we all know the love and power of the Holy Spirit!