Pentecost (May 27, 2012)
Common Lectionary Readings:
Ezekiel 37:1-14; Ps. 104:24-35; Rom. 8:22-27; John 14:26-27, 16:4-15
During the past two weeks we have experienced the joy or holding our granddaughter Sydney, watching our son Jeremy graduate from Bucknell University, and connecting with Middle Eastern students at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute and friends in New York and Washington, D.C. We have felt loved and supported.
Additionally, the MCC advocacy offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. have facilitated engaging discussions for us with policymakers at the United Nations and on Capitol Hill. While there are exceptions, it is striking to us how little the average Westerner knows about the daily realities for people in the Middle East.
We have five more weeks on the road, beginning May 28 with meetings in Ottawa and followed by travel to Alberta. We continue to welcome your prayers for the journey and the heavy speaking schedule in the coming weeks.
The Common Lectionary readings for the Pentecost Sunday describe the amazing work of God’s Spirit.
In the Old Testament passage, the Lord shows Ezekiel a valley filled with very dry bones, representing a people whose hope has been lost. When Ezekiel speaks to the bones they are joined to one another, covered with flesh and skin, and come alive. In the same way, God promises those who feel hopeless and cut off: “I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live.” (Ezek. 37:14)
The psalmist writes that the people are dismayed when God’s face is hidden. On the other hand, “When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.” (Ps. 104:30)
In the Epistle reading, Paul writes that the Spirit “helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” (Rom. 8:26). When it is hardest to hold on to hope “the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (v. 27) Paul adds: “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (vv. 24-25)
In the Gospel reading, Jesus promises that the Spirit will point us to the way of Jesus and “guide (us) into all the truth.” (John 16:13)
On this Pentecost Sunday, we pray that God’s Spirit come with power to create and renew life, to intercede on our behalf and to guide us in the way of truth.