The first couple of times
I went in
I just took a seat and thanked her for inviting me
in. I never knew what was going to happen or how long the ser
vices would last, but
became something that I actual
ly looked forward to.
They were always happy to see me, always welcoming of
the interruption of my
seemed at first like chaos
starting slow and gathering steam
until someone might begin to shout
or weep or even fall out
prompting the whole community to
focus in with prayer,
laying on of hands, tongues, or admonition of an affliction or lapse.
One week Rev. Sanders
asked me to come forward and speak
to share a message,
to speak the Word.
ayed for God’s help. And
I moved to the front of the room and
I opened the Bible
and began to read
I can’t remember the passage, but I remember the sensation
pull to trust the moment, to not think my way through how I would share
Good News with
God’s gathered people, but to simply speak from my heart
place that really meant something
this was the absolute antithesis of phoniness
it was truth they wanted, truth about how God was speaking to me and through me
and so I had to get out the way,
I had to let the Spirit move.
This fourth generation Presbyterian minister from KY
child of two college
professors with a PhD,
let go. I let go of the way I had been taught proper, decent
and in order, worship was supposed to go.
It was a Penteco
words that felt effortless and free, and a community of
faith that heard their own story in my story,
in the glimpse of Gospel that came
We were together in that place, in that sacred space. The trials and troubles we had
all seen in
r lives coalesced in the joy and liberation we
God’s deeds of power
that spoke our common language.
That first Pentecost
, that day in Jerusalem
the disciples were doing as Jesus had
told them. They were there, together
le who loved Jesus
. And after Jesus’
ascension they were praying for what they needed.
This coming together coincided with an especially intense time in Jerusalem
the Jewish feast of Weeks that they
held 50 days after Passover
. That meant that th
nations were there in Jerusalem
Jews from far ranging geography.
The ones who loved Jesus were open, they knew they needed help, they were
grieving, they were confused. And then, a
and tongues of fire
ones who had been on their kne
es, confused, asking for what they needed