A prayer for Pentecost

Mildorfer, Josef Ignaz - Pentecost - 1750s

Mildorfer, Josef Ignaz – Pentecost – 1750s

What is it Lord? What do we celebrate today?

A harvest celebration? The first fruits offered to our God?
Or Pentecost, the first fruits of God’s new order?
Sinai? A celebration of the giving of the law?
Or Pentecost, where Spirit prevails over letter,
And love is not limited by rules?
A new heart; the Spirit of God within us,
Where relationship prevails over rightness,
And brokenness is welcomed over hypocrisy.

Pentecost, the poor cousin of Christian holy days.
There is no bling, no glitzy gifts, no chocolate eggs.
A quiet celebration; but of what, Lord?

Of one of the most spectacular events in history.
God, not confined to Heaven,
God, not confined to the body of one Palestinian man.
God, poured out; God at work in every human being:
All of us, great and small, male and female, rich and poor.

Lord, your Spirit is here—within us and around us.
But where is the fire?
Have we quenched it with our fears and respectabilities?
Where is the noise?
Have we forgotten the momentous news we have to share?
Does no one think we are drunk?
Have we become way too polite and ordinary for that? [1]

Where are the people, all amazed and perplexed?
Do no crowds gather, asking, “What does this mean?”
Is there nothing different about us this day?
Do we blend in with the crowds?
Do we join the crowds pointing fingers at others who are different?
“They are drunk; they are gay; they are loud; they are sinful.”

Lord, send us your Spirit again.
Overwhelm us with your other-ness;
Break the bonds of our conformity.

Fill us with an expectation of outpouring,
A desire to proclaim your message
And a passion for the peoples of the world.

In Jesus’ name.

[1] Inspired by Jack Levison, After the Jelly Beans Are All Gone Comes Pentecost 


Filed under Pentecost, Prayers and Meditations, Through the Year

4 responses to “A prayer for Pentecost

  1. Pingback: Choices: a prayer (Pentecost 6, Year C) | Wondering Preacher

  2. Pingback: Enough for a Day? 052313 | Mennonite Preacher

  3. WOW, this is fabulous, brother Ian. I love, “Overwhelm us”, and “fill us with an expectation of outpouring”–BIG, Powerful words about our BIG God who can and WILL do anything and everything. We are so privileged and blessed to be part of Him, His children called to partake–and to Share! Thank you for encouraging my faith today–God bless you abundantly–love, sis Caddo


    • Thanks sis Caddo. I loved the imagery from Jack Levison’s post. He quoted Annie Dillard who says, “It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews.”
      How’s that for expectation of outpouring!


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