On June 4th, we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday. I am sure that you recall that on this day the church was born. In the Book of Acts, thousands of converts of all nations come to follow Christ. While they spoke in their native tongue, they could still understand each other. This was very strange and miraculous. This church of many nations became one in Christ. As our church experiences deaths and the reception of new members we are strangers to one another too. As we gather together we come to better know and understand each other. It is still miraculous.
I have never been one to be shy about speaking to a stranger but I can never remember the person’s name. Given the changes we have experienced in the last year, you can imagine how my head spins when I see a face that I know on Sunday morning but can’t recall their name. This does not inhibit me from introducing myself and repeatedly apologizing for forgetting. Why do I do this? Because I really want to get know my congregation and I don’t want my defect to get in the way.
I once had a date in high school. I had met her one time and called her on the phone. I ask her out on a date. On the way to her house, I couldn’t remember her name. I went through the alphabet. Nothing clicked. I tried not to panic and hoped for a miracle. She met me at my car in the driveway to escort me into her house. She just happened to be was wearing a t-shirt that cheerleaders from her school al wore. When she turned around a name was on the back of her shirt. I prayed this was her name. It was. I wanted to go out on that date so bad that not knowing her name was not going to get in my way.
Our church has had an influx of new names and faces. I am so pleased when we pass the peace during worship that new faces are noticed and welcomed. Jenny Lanning and her team of greeters do their best to make all welcome in the narthex. Feeling welcome is so important and sometimes a strange face may make you pause a bit. DON’T! We are all gathered here in the name of Christ. We are all but little children of God. We all have something in common.
This summer I hope to offer during worship some opportunities for us to leave the comfort of our seat and go and greet one another. New people in our midst are such a blessing. We honor that gift and give thanks to God for it.
Pentecost was a miraculous day but so is every day when we take time to speak to and get to know one another better. Let’s take this summer as an opportunity as Lutherans to be Pentecostal people.
~In His Service