June 13, 2011

post-pentecost thoughts

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Here's a few thoughts I had yesterday, reflecting on the Pentecost narrative. Much of this riffs off of what Jerry taught on Saturday night at First Pres':

- Pentecost, as related to us in Acts 2, is about the Holy Spirit. Not so much about spiritual gifts.

- Pentecost is not so much about us being a better church with one another as it is about us being a better church with "the others" around us and near us.

- Regarding the grander narrative and Acts--as well as what we see at the end of Acts 2--there's an assumption here that we often miss: with so much healing and economic sharing going on it seems apparent, to me at least, that there must have been a whole lot of the sick and the poor making a significant portion of the church. Are they for us?

- The pre-Pentecost narrative (Acts 1) seems to also imply the importance of the "other." Jesus effectively tells his disciples that if they are going to tell his story at "the ends of the earth" (I like, "the uttermost parts" myself), they've got to go to "the other" first: Samaria for them--those people most despised by good Jews. Who's your "other?"

"When we drink the cup of blessing, aren't we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn't it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don't we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness???Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don't reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is." 1 Corinthians 10:15-17 The Message (emphasis mine)

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