As Pentecost Day comes to a close I post these words written by another. I offer them so that as you consider the action of the Spirit in your life you may consider how that informs the life of the community to which you belong. Also, I encourage you to examine your own individual and collective action to see if it is “renewing, redeeming, and co-creating with God.”
[The Spirit of Truth] descended upon individuals, but in community: “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together” (Acts 2:1). Only together can we hope to discern if the real source of our claims to the truth are born of the Spirit or the powerful temptations of our own egos.
Once again we are reminded of our faith’s beautiful balance between individual agency and community discernment and action. Though there are no hard and fast formulas for its deciphering, even in community, it’s clear that the truth does not involve forms of death such as exclusion, hatred, and scape-goating. Rather, the Holy Spirit is always associated with new life, new beginnings, and new possibilities, as the Psalmist joyfully describes: “When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and renew the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30). Our claims of truth must always be on the side of life—renewing, redeeming, and co-creating with God. —Michaela Bruzzese in Sojourners (May-June 2003) quoted in Synthesis, May 30, 2003.
And I offer a prayer for you and for me and for the whole church. The words were first written by another, but today I speak them from my heart…
O God, the Holy Spirit,
come to us, and among us:
come as the wind, and cleanse us;
come as the fire, and burn;
come as the dew, and refresh:
convict, convert, and consecrate
many hearts and lives
to our great good
and thy greater glory,
and this we ask for Jesus Christ’s sake.
Eric Milner-White, (1884-1963) as found in George Appleton, Ed., The Oxford Book of Prayer (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1985) p.155