As I head toward retirement and the future God has in mind for me - and as I think about leaving you to find your new future, the text we read on Pentecost Sunday comes to mind. As Jesus’ disciples waited for “what was coming next” the Holy Spirit descended upon them. On the day of Pentecost, THE HOLY SPIRIT GOT LOOSE and the church was born. (Full text in Acts 2:1-20)
Peace UCC will soon be entering a period of transition. It is good to remember at times such as this that the Holy Spirit is still loose. And that same Spirit has the power to go on renewing and re-creating the church – so the church is primed and ready to preach a powerful word from God to a world starving for a word of hope and a word of salvation.
Many of us like things in the church to be predictable, stable, comfortable, a place where we know what to expect. But the truth is the church’s future is never predictable or plotted out because the Holy Spirit, the animating breath of the church, continues to blow up storms and whirlwinds without any notice. The job of the Holy Spirit is to disrupt our order so that the Holy Spirit can re-order us to do the work we are intended to do.
The church was formed by a mighty, disruptive, wind from God. That wind continues to blow - challenging the church to ask some important questions. What on earth are we here for? Where in heaven’s name are we headed?
My prayer for Peace United Church of Christ is that you are headed into the wind that is God’s Spirit, that you will be willing to spread your wings and step off the edge daring to do things differently at times, daring to take some risks, daring to dream dreams and see visions, believing that the breath of the Spirit will bear you forward into the future.
This world is too complicated to soar with just any wind. For the church to head in the direction God intends you need God’s Spirit – to propel, to disrupt, to stabilize, to provide power and strength, and to offer purpose to your striving.
I will miss all of you, but when I leave, I leave knowing that you will be in God’s hands; that God’s Spirit is blowing all around you seeking to hold you and form you and send you out toward the future that God intends. As the Spirit blows, I pray that you will have the courage to raise your wings and soar.
Grace and Peace,