Tumbling in the Sand
Texts for June 12, 2011: Numbers 11:24–30, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Acts 2:1-21, John 20:19-23
“Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!” – Numbers 11:29b
The incredible thing about Pentecost is that God pours out God’s Spirit on all of God’s people: the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the women, the men, those with dark skin, those with light skin, those with every shade in between, the Germans, the Swedes, the [insert your cultural background here], the everybody. In Pentecost, Moses’ prayer and hope that all of God’s people would be prophets and all of God’s people would have the Spirit poured out on them, comes to past.
That means that you have received that gift, too. In baptism, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, and God’s wind/breath/spirit stirred within you and took residence in you. That means that you have received gifts of the Spirit and that you have something special to add to God’s whole community. It is not as though the church is made up of a few experts, a few leaders like Moses, no, the church is made up of everyone who has gifts given to them by God for the work of the Spirit in the world. That everyone means you.
Of course, that everyone also means someone that you probably don’t like either, someone you’d rather not listen to. They are part of that everyone too and so the Spirit has been poured out on them too. That’s the hardest thing about Pentecost: the whole community receives the Spirit of God, not just those whom we think have earned it or deserve it. Everyone, together receives the Spirit and so (this might be a little confusing) no one by themselves gets the whole of the Spirit, only the whole gets the whole of the Spirit and therefore, the whole community has to listen to the whole community in order to figure out what the Spirit is doing. That’s hard because it means you have to listen. But that’s the gift too because it means the Spirit is speaking! Have you listened to Abby singing along with the chanting during worship? The Spirit is speaking! Have you listened to the laughing during coffee hour? The Spirit is speaking! Have you listened to Kelli or anyone else reading the scriptures? The Spirit is speaking! Have you listened to the yearning of your heart for the living community gathered here at Salem and Immanuel? The Spirit is speaking! Praise God for Pentecost when all of God’s people became prophets and all of God’s people had the Spirit poured out upon them! Listen! The Spirit is speaking in and through you!