As this year’s Pentecost celebration approaches for congregations, the parallels feel stronger than normal to that initial moment when the Holy Spirit was poured out on Jesus’s disciples. This year the Spirit arrives as a yearlong pandemic hopefully draws towards an end. But emerging from the pandemic can be even more complicated and controversial for churches than their first responses to it.
Pentecost is about new beginnings. Following Jesus’s ascension into heaven, the Book of Acts describes how his followers had gathered in Jerusalem for a festival celebration, as they did every year. The depiction is one of life returning to “normal” after Jesus’s departure and also one of anticipation about what has yet to arrive. The disciples knew one chapter had ended and they expected another one to begin, but for the moment, they returned to their usual routines.
“All of us know when the pandemic started because it affected all of our lives suddenly and with a furry,” said Rev. Trevor Dancer, a United Methodist pastor in Jefferson City, Missouri. “The end comes less clean cut and significantly messier. This Pentecost, we invite the spirit to fall fresh upon us, to renew us, and to give us a heart of compassion for one another. For while some of us celebrate ‘the end,’ others still have a long way to go before they can feel the same.”
Read the full article here: https://wordandway.org/2021/05/19/pentecost-sunday-as-pandemic-eases/