May 24, 2015 Pentecost
Dear Believers in Christ,
Come, Holy Spirit! This is Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. We celebrate our reliance on God through the generous awakening of our lives in faith in the Holy Spirit.
The presence of the Holy Spirit may seem illusive, abstract or otherworldly. We cannot hug, touch or see the third person of the Trinity. It is difficult to be in relationship with the Holy Spirit whom we cannot see, or encounter in real life. Yet, when we sit with our lives in prayer and silence, when we examine our journey more closely, we see how God guides us, how we are loved even when times are tough.
There are many arguments about how the Church should serve, act and celebrate in the world today. Theology waves to the right and to the left, from one polar opposite to the other. Politics and religion are especially combined in our country. Yet, today we release our notions and our control over how we are to be in the world to God’s guidance and providence. We entrust our Church, our worship, our service, our lives and even the lives of the vulnerable into the hands of the Holy Spirit.
I want our parish to mean something in the world. I want us to make a difference in people’s lives. I want the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be a tender hope for the souls of every person in the Tri-Community. I desire consolation for so many people who fear the future, who want to end their lives, who live on pennies, who feel their lives and voices do not matter, who struggle to raise their children, who are never satisfied with their employment, who live only in fear in their old age and who remain restless in their relationships. Today is the day I entrust to the Holy Spirit every member of our community. I invite you to reflect on our community today, the ways in which we rely again on God:
Holy Spirit, guide us into a new awareness of our reliance on you.
Holy Spirit, come and make a home in our disappointments and resentments.
Holy Spirit, console those lost in drugs, alcohol, overeating and self-loathing.
Holy Spirit, retrieve our runaway children, those who cut themselves, those who are lost.
Holy Spirit, mend the lives of couples lost in infidelity and growing resentment.
Holy Spirit, heal the adult children of alcoholics, those confined to rage and restlessness.
Holy Spirit, run after our foster children, our orphans, our next generation without hope.
Holy Spirit, mend the hurts from our parents’ death, our family squabbles.
Holy Spirit, help us let go of our static faith, wanting nothing to ever change.
Holy Spirit, search out those who are drowning in cynicism and self-hatred.
Holy Spirit, break through hopelessness, comfort the weary, retrieve the lost.
Holy Spirit, reassure parents who fret about their children not being part of the Church.
Holy Spirit, welcome the searching, those with an inkling that life could be different.
Holy Spirit, build a church on our conviction that life has meaning and that we belong.
Holy Spirit, accept those who search for a home in the world.
Holy Spirit, create a worshipping community here from our hesitant voices of prayer.
Holy Spirit, comfort our family members in prison, those who long for freedom.
Holy Spirit, sustain the Church to serve those on the margins of society.
Holy Spirit, teach our theologians, our wisdom people, our next generation of leadership.
Holy Spirit, give hope for those who live in quiet desperation.
Holy Spirit, console our children who do not feel loved.
Holy Spirit, give hope to our veterans who worry about the future.
Holy Spirit, welcome those who fret about being accepted in our pews.
Holy Spirit, give us courage not to turn away from the problems people face today.
Holy Spirit, guide artists, musicians and poets to help proclaim your gospel of peace.
Holy Spirit, welcome our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters waiting for acceptance.
Holy Spirit, give courage for those with mental and physical disabilities in our parish.
Holy Spirit, give peace to those who long for justice, those who long to sing of love.
Holy Spirit, comfort the dying in our nursing homes and those who are homebound.
Holy Spirit, welcome all visitors, all sojourners, all who seek Jesus.
Holy Spirit, come and break through the walls of fear, loneliness and hatred.
Holy Spirit, Come!
Blessings on this Pentecost,