I have often said if I could be part of any time in history — time-machine-wise — I’d want to live among the apostles in the 10 days between the Ascension and Pentecost.
With the knowledge that I have now, of course. Because I’m a total wimp. And there must have been critical moments of despair, fear, and frustration. I don’t want any of that, thank you very much. I want to be in the know. I want to know how the story ends.
I’d want to be an encouragement to the women and men during what must have been a pretty stressful, confusing, and yet fascinating 10 days.
I’d want to see how they worked it all out: what they agreed on — what they fought about — who was the Bossy-McKnow-It-All? Who was on board from the start? Who needed more convincing? Who sat in the back, arms crossed, waiting to see how things shook out? Who was in danger of getting voted off the island? Who kept the coffee made?
How did this band of misfits, sinners, and saints get their proverbial #Acts together (see what I did there?)?!
I think 10 days can go really fast when you’re excited by a new project.
But probably 10 days can also feel like forever when you are faced with the prospect of explaining something to people they’re not going to believe. Or understand. Or care about.
Especially if you don’t know that Help is coming in 10 days.
Or what that Help might look like.
…or feel like…
…or sound like…
We know it was 10 days. They didn’t. They thought it would be soon — but they thought it would be Jesus. What caused them to trust? To move? To cross the bridge that was still being built? #ThoseGiftsTho
God always comes back bigger than He went out. There is always a bookend. Sometimes we live in between the bookends and sometimes we don’t.
And in this case — the coming of the Holy Spirit is the scriptural bookend to…you guessed it…
The Tower of Babel.
People who did not desire a relationship with God — who just wanted to build a tower to heaven to be “on the same level” as God. No encounter. Just a move in and take over.
People who were in deep and intimate relationship with God through direct encounter with the actual person of Jesus. Who desire right relationship with God and others: to love, to worship, and to serve.
From a set of directions for tower-building that suddenly seemed to come from an ancient IKEA…and a separation of people by language…confusion…lack of communication…
An experiential and explicit set of directions:
In WORD: Peace Be With You
In FEELING: A Strong and Rushing Wind
In SOUND: Doors Broke Open
In SIGHT: Tongues As Of Fire
In EXPERIENCE: Of Languages and Understanding
Nothing gets in God’s way. The Tower of Babel is majestically and masterfully undone and redeemed in the experience of Pentecost. Seriously. We have a WILD GOD! Who wouldn’t want to be CATHOLIC???!!!
Go. And baptize all nations.
Tell the great story of Jesus.
Launch your kerygma into the world.
Incidentally — I loved the Bishop’s sermon at the royal wedding. It was actually great for our celebration of Pentecost. A little Catholic. A little Episcopal. A little Baptist. A little trickster. A little Scripture. A little music. A little humor. A little Jesuit. A little Chi-Town. BIG KERYGMA! A LOT of power and love and A LOT of FIRE! And he was right!
You can link it here on YouTube:
COME HOLY SPIRIT
Coming soon to a procrastinator’s blog posts near you:
Hover-cropping the Kerygma: Field knowledge vs. bottom line and Maintenance vs Mission
The Aftermath of the Sower
What a city girl doesn’t know about soil and discipleship
Royal Wedding vs. school shooting(s) — and Acts of the Apostles — joy/fear/sorrow/hope
Mary, Mother of the Church Memorial — #DayAfterFireAndWind