Celebrating Together

I am far more interested in the wedding I'll preside over on May 26 than the one 100 million or so people will tune in to watch tomorrow.  It's not that I have a problem with all the intrigue around the Royal Wedding; it seems as deserving as the Super Bowl or other similarly watched events.  I do wish that Americans' willingness to get up earlier than usual on a Saturday for a televised worship service would translate into getting to a place of worship the next day to celebrate the Holy Spirit.  We'll see...

The reason I'm more interested in the wedding next weekend is that I know that couple personally.  I care about them.  I'm excited to see how their lives will be lived together and will witness to their faith and the goodness of love.

If we chose to, The United Methodist Church could put on a worldwide televised spectacle about the Holy Spirit.  We could shutter local churches on Pentecost Sunday and gather the resources used for local worship to make an extraordinary international event.  With those kind of resources, the show could represent in fascinating and compelling ways the story from Acts 2:1-21.  And, then, when it was over, people would say, "That was interesting," and turn the channel to the next subject of interest.  Or, as the Church has chosen to do, we can offer local celebrations among people we know and care about and with whom we share life and faith and witness and love.  We can invite others to join us in that.

Celebrating together the power and work of the Holy Spirit, we are reminded of how diverse is that work.  Acts 2 shows us something of the chaos and inspiration that comes with the Holy Spirit's movement among us.  John 16:7-14 shows us how the Spirit continues to speak to us, challenge us, motivate us, empower us.  Romans 8:22-27 shows another side of the Spirit's activity: hearing our pleas, even those that we can't articulate, and interpreting them to God with sighs too deep for words.

The Holy Spirit connects us across the globe - the sun never sets on the Kingdom of God - and works in very particular ways in each corner of it.  So, whatever you do Saturday morning, on Sunday, come and celebrate the Holy Spirit (all 3 services), Central's Stephen Ministers (9 a.m. in the sanctuary), and Central's latest group of graduates (11:15 a.m. in the sanctuary) with us.