Day of Pentecost, June 4 - Blessing of Graduates
The Day of Pentecost is the 50th day of the Easter Season. It’s the day that follows “a week of Sundays” including Jesus’ resurrection appearances, the remembrance of his teachings, and the promise of the Spirit. And it all drives to this capstone Sunday, the Day of Pentecost. Like the Jewish Pentecost festival that celebrates the harvest, we will celebrate the harvest of Jesus’ death and resurrection, Spirit empowerment and transformation of all creation. Wear your red and plan to whoop it up for the Spirit that heals, forgives, inspires, and unites us all. Yes, “red” for fire and wind and the passionate love of God.
I invite you to read the story of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1-21) before Sunday and use it for your devotions. Keep all who are graduating in your prayers and revel in the empowerment God desires for all of us in the transitions of life. Graduations are pivotal moments in life and I join you all in offering God’s blessing for our graduates this Sunday. And did I say wear red?
The Season of Pentecost/Summer
School may be out for summer but the Season of Pentecost invites us to take some time with Jesus as our teacher. On June 11, we celebrate the great commission to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them” (Matthew 28: 19-20). In the weeks that follow, Jesus unpacks the commission to include the delivering of good news to the lost and a call to take up the cross with him---losing our lives for the sake of the kingdom (Matthew 10: 37-38).
We can’t miss that summertime is a growing time. And Pentecost is all about growing in the Spirit; the second half of summer is devoted to Jesus’ teaching with parables. These parables are both the water and sunshine of the faith seeds that have already been planted in us and the seeds we get to share and sow in our neighborhoods.
As this is the 500th Anniversary year of the Lutheran Reformation, the last 3 Sundays of August will celebrate central Lutheran teachings and the passionate witness to the ongoing reforming Spirit for the church and the entire world today. Pentecost reminds us that lives are transformed when we are called, gathered, and sent forth in the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God!