Grace Notes - with Pastor Liz

  

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March 13, 2018

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. (Acts 2:1-4)

 

On that first day of Pentecost, the disciples were overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. And with hurricane-force winds, divided tongues of fire, and the sudden ability to speak every language, it most certainly makes sense that they were overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s presence was made known in a most powerful way that Pentecost celebration, and that is why we point to it as the birth of our church.

            This morning in church, I, too, was overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. No, we didn’t have hurricane winds, and no, I hadn’t checked the fire extinguishers enough to determine if a ‘fire tongues’ experiment would go over well. But as we confirmed two of our young people, I was overwhelmed with knowing how deeply God has been at work in their lives. It is a powerful thing to be able to surround each young person with their families, and their church family, and mark the sign of the cross on their forehead- the same sign they received at their baptism- then celebrate the ways each one of them embodies the work of the Holy Spirit in their world. They are indeed blessed. Even more, we are incredibly blessed to have them in our church. I offer here my words to the congregation in my sermon today, which I spoke about not only our two confirmands, but our entire youth present:

(To the grown ups in our congregation) These amazing young people are not only the future of our church, they are also the people we need right here right now. They have gifts to share with us beyond what we can imagine right now. Listen to them, really listen to them. Love them unconditionally. Pray for them, that they might always know God’s presence with them. Let them challenge you (those challenges are how the Holy Spirit works!). Create a church for them where all are accepted and loved, and create a church with them: teaching them our traditions and also making room for that which is creative and new. And remind them, as many times as they might need, that God loves them, no matter what.

Gracious God, we celebrate so much in you today: for our church family that is so full of the Holy Spirit; for our young people, especially our two youth who confirmed their faith this morning; and for all those in our lives who care for us and who we celebrate this Mother’s Day. We know that the compassion found in your world is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. In your blessed name we pray, Amen.

 

Song of the Week: “Dry Bones” by Gungor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJWHZnZ9E6k