State of Transition

by Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministries 

It seems my family is in a month, maybe even a season, of transitions right now. My younger step-daughter and her husband had their first baby. My oldest step-daughter's six-year-old child is losing her teeth. Sophie is graduating from high school, and Eli will begin driver's education classes soon. These are just some of the transitions happening with my children.

There are other transitions as well. Our schedule at Holy Comforter is moving out of the rhythm of the program year and into the simpler days of summer. Nature itself is changing as it shifts from the cool spring air into brighter warmer days. The Farmer's Market is opening, and each week more and more fresh fruits and vegetables are available. The list goes on for us, and I bet it does for you too.

With transitions all around us it is the perfect time to celebrate Pentecost and our ministry that follows. As you may remember, Pentecost, June 4th this year, is the day we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. During the Eater season we have heard stories of Jesus telling his disciples that he will not leave them alone. He will send an Advocate, the Holy Comforter, to come and be with them. Pentecost is the day we celebrate this Companion. If you remember the story you might recall that the Spirit blew in like a great wind. It also rained down like a great fire. Because of it the disciples were able to communicate with folks of various languages and share the Good News of God in Christ. Some folks stopped to listen to the disciples and other ignored or dismissed them. Once the Spirit arrived the story seems to portray a rather chaotic or at the very least messy day. Those who had been touched by the Holy Spirit wanted to share this new sense of God's love and the Kingdom of God with everyone, but not everyone cared to or wanted to listen. Still, those touched by the Holy Spirit could not stop. For the rest of the New Testament from St Peter to St. Paul we hear account after account of the followers of Jesus trying to spread the Good News. The Good News that God is alive, is love, is grace, is among us in our relationships with each other. This is indeed Good News as it tells us that we are freed from all that angers us. We are saved from all that scares us. We are healed from all that shames us. Nothing, noting, nothing can keep God from loving us. On Pentecost the disciples transitioned from students to teachers, from sheep to shepherds.

The same is true for us. Like the disciples we are given the Holy Spirit and called to go out and share the message, the way, the love of Christ. We share this message in what we say and in how we live. It is reflected in the words we use and the choices we make. It is a big task and requires courage. It may not always be heard or understood. Life in the Spirit can be messy. Someone might lose a tooth, or someone might be born. Someone may graduate from one stage of life and move into the next. Another might just be brave enough to grab hold of the wheel of all that lies ahead. Either way the Spirit is there to guide, play, dance, and live with us and all we meet along the way.