We were off the Year of Mark this week for Pentecost. There was no denying the Holy Spirit was present on Sunday when you walked into church! We had a big fabric installation and a cake with sparkler candles and everyone wore red.
Sunday was also Children’s Day at RCC, so it was a really short sermon before the older kids did their “memorable moments” skit, where they each talked about their most memorable moment at the church this year.
Rehoboth Congregational Church
June 9, 2019
To Call The Church Into Being
I was texting back and forth with Abbie St. Martin this week about my ability (or lack thereof) to make a Pentecost cake and she said, “You could just make any old cake and set it on fire.” She then immediately followed it up with the text, in parentheses, “That’s Pentecost, right?”
As a pastor, I have never been more proud.
This morning is Pentecost and it is the tradition of the Church to use the color red to symbolize the fire and the might movement of the Holy Spirit.
Thankfully not long after my conversation with Abbie, Jen Healy texted me and said she and Matt would be happy to make an actual Pentecost cake, one that we would nothave to set on fire.
Pentecost is the day when we commemorate the arrival of the Holy Spirit, which descended upon the apostles and the earliest followers of Christ and called the Church into being. This morning, before we move to this year’s Church School skit, I thought I would talk about what it means to call the Church into being today.
Last Sunday was New Member Sunday. With joy in our hearts, we officially welcomed 11 new people into our church family. Leading up to last Sunday, one of the new members asked me, “What is it that you expect of us, now?” I have thought about that question all week. Of course, with congregational polity, it is a fascinating and not-easily-answerable one. Because I guess, technically we don’t expect anything; but when people join the church they areaccepting our invitation to help us call the Church into being today.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Today is a celebration of the Holy Spirit, but it is also a celebration of what the Holy Spirit has done in our midst, a celebration of what we do when the Holy Spirit enters our hearts and our lives and a celebration of the Church that the Holy Spirit has called into being today.
And what a Church is it.
Perhaps we do not expect anything “official” of our members, but when we call the Church into being, we are doing something powerful and bold and life-changing.
To call the Church into being means creating a safe space where we can learn and grow in our faith.
To call the Church into being means singing together and praying together and sharing the peace of Christ with one another.
To call the Church into being means gathering around a table and breaking bread together, remembering Jesus every single time we pass around a tray of bread, grape juice, turkey, pasta or lemonade.
To call the Church into being means hearing prayer requests offered up by those in our church family and earnestly pray for them; sharing in both their joys and their sorrows.
To call the Church into being means asking hard questions and not being afraid of what happens if someone has a different answer than you do.
To call the Church into being means making meals for people when they are sick, recovering from surgery or bringing a new baby home.
To call the Church into being means rescuing the first row of worshipers from a falling speaker.
To call the Church into being means sometimes entering a peaceful space and sometimes being surrounded by chaos.
To call the Church into being means celebrating all generations – young and old.
To call the Church into being means knowing that you are not alone.
Today we celebrate the Church that was, that is and that will be in the future. We celebrate God who created us, Christ who redeems us and the Holy Spirit that sustains us always.
Today, with our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, we make a commitment to continue to call the Church into being.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Thanks be to God!