Feast of Pentecost Yr A May 31 2020 (Sunday after the murder of George Floyd, riots in Minneapolis)
Acts 2:1-21, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, John 20:19-23, Psalm 104:25-35, 37
What does one say on the Feast of Pentecost, a joyous celebration? This day when we celebrate Spirit, like the rush of mighty wind and tongues of fire. The Holy Spirit, the gift of God’s continuing presence with God’s beloveds, you and me and every one of us, regardless of the color of our skin, the lilt of our voice, the health of our bank accounts. What does one say about Holy Spirit, when my home, Minneapolis Minnesota, is under siege? (and my son is on the front line)
What can be said? Kyrie Eleison, O Lord have mercy.
Holy Spirt, descend upon us, meet the fire of human pain and want and need,
with your fire of justice. Kyrie Eleison, O Lord have mercy.
Holy Spirit, descend upon us, meet the fire of outrage at not being heard, not being seen, not being believed, with your fire of compassion. Kyrie Eleison, O Lord have mercy.
Holy Spirit, descend upon us, meet the fire of self-righteous privilege,
with your fire of refinement. Kyrie Eleison, O Lord have mercy.
Holy Spirit, descend upon us, meet the fire of destruction and looting,
with your fire of merciful judgement. Kyrie Eleison, O Lord have mercy.
Holy Spirit, descend upon us, meet the fire of hate,
with your fire of love. Kyrie Eleison, O Lord have mercy.
Holy Spirit, descend upon us, ignite the fire that was placed in us at our baptism, the fire to resist evil in all its insidious and racist forms, the fire to proclaim by word and example your Good News; the Good news that not one of God’s creations is outside of God’s love, the good news that Jesus is all in all. The fire that seeks and serves Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor, all our neighbors, and especially those who have been systematically excluded from a path of progress, as ourselves. The fire that strives for justice and peace among all people, the fire that respects the dignity of every human being. Kyrie Eleison.
How does one speak of the Holy Spirit? Very carefully. Like the murmuring of a dove’s song, like the rushing fire of refinement, a burning bush that is not consumed. If we took the Holy Spirit seriously, we’d all be on fire. So, we will stop speaking of the Holy Spirit, and instead, we will let the Holy Spirit have its way with us.
The kingdom of God imagines a very different future from the reality in which we find ourselves. A world in which each person can walk down the street and be safe, a world in which each person can walk into the grocery store and not be stalked. We must be on fire with the proclamation that systems must be just. We must be a part of the change. Holy Spirit set us on fire for justice, peace, and love.