To be back in church this week was wonderful.
It was Pentecost Sunday–the day Christians remember the Holy Spirit coming to Christ’s followers. The advocate Christ had promised to send arrived in the sound of wind and in tongues of fire.
The disciples had seen Christ ascend into Heaven. More than a week later, Holy Spirit came.
I wonder whether the days between were a time of uncertainty.
Long before, the Israelites questioned God’s faithfulness even after they crossed a dry seabed to escape their oppressors. They saw; they walked to the other side. In the unknown of the wilderness, they still doubted.
How like them we are. Human nature resists the unknown. We yearn for the predictable.
However, Robert Barron writes: “One of the principal Biblical metaphors for the Spirit is the wind, and indeed, on Pentecost morning, the Apostles heard what sounded like a strong driving wind as the Spirit arrived. But the wind, elusive and unpredictable, is never really known in itself, but only through its effects.”
Pentecost brings promise in unpredictability.
On the Day of Pentecost, the disciples gathered, perhaps in anticipation of the prophesied advocate, but definitely in celebration of the Jewish Feast of Weeks.
It’s a celebration of the early harvest. Harvest in the spring? Not typically what we think of as the time to gather crops.
But spring is when farmers harvest winter wheat that held the ground in place through rains and snows. It’s a harvest to plant new seed for the summer crops to be gathered in fall.
The God-Creator who formed us from dust became one of us. Christ, the Bread of Life, holds our ground in place during storms. He prepares the ground of our hearts for new planting in due season.
We are coming out of a strange winter. We had so little snow–no days off school, not even a delay to clear roads. Then came Covid-19.
Isolation, grim news, and fear followed. That was our in-between time. Between harvests. A cold spring after a warm winter. Not at all what we expected as season followed season.
Season: a time that begins and ends.
Now it’s June and the country is coming outside once more. We are coming out of the time for holding ground. But the season did more than keep our plot in place. It prepared us for the next season, the next planting, the next harvest.
In one way or another, we are always waiting, anticipating what we believe to be the predictable. But it’s the unpredictable that works in and through us.
Yesterday, we raised the Hallelujah that we weren’t able to express together at Easter.
The sense of celebration was palpable.
Even without elements, the communion meditation yesterday reminded us to cast our cares upon the Lord, for He cares for us. The message called us to be grateful. To ponder the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
We go forward from here. To a new unknown season for eventual harvest.
We can’t control what follows. We can carry seed. We can ask the holy wind to disperse it. The holy wind we cannot see.
And we can watch to see the effects.