As we continue to grow the use of this online lectionary Blog I am sure that each of our unique perspectives will become visable to one another. I hesitate to require a formal format that all must use but hope with the Holy Spirit we will all understand each other.
On a week in which most may punt and run away from the lectionary in favor of a mothers day theme let me suggest the following for the beginning of our conversation on Acts 2:1-21... The Story of Pentecost!
I gravitated to verse 14 and particularly the phrase: "But peter, standing with the eleven raised his voice and addressed them: 'Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say."
Peter, in a moment of confusion and fear stands up and leads, teaches, interprets and guides his people through an event that in truth could have gone either way. It could have turned into a riot or into a witch trail. God breaking into our lives is sometimes a very scary time even when it is a good thing. I must say that I have in the past tended to focus in on the spirit and tongue thing and the obvious overtones toward unity and diversity as a Disciple.
However, this time, though I did not set out to link mothers day and Pentecost, it seems if I were going to do this what I would do is talk about my mother and how she and others have been the one who stood up and raised her voice and guided me through those potentially confusing moments of life.
I have writen a story about everyone else in the family but my mother. Im not sure why I have been unable to catch my mothers presence in my life in a paragraph of letters and words. Everytime I sit down to write something about her I seem to fall short with just the right emphasis that tells my soul that "Yes, this is my mother."
Yet, she has always been there! Other then a moment when my mother stood up and dump an entire huge bowl of peas on my head to emphasize the point that I was being annoying and selfish to all around, I dont remember my mother as the person who would have been like Peter standing up and saying LISTEN to me for I know what this means!
What I remember about my mother and what I would share this Sunday is a mother who has struggled with the loss of 3 of her six children. A mother who allowed me to make butter and sugar sandwiches even though it was not her particular favorite food. A mother who for her own reasons believed in a God who has a plan for all people including hers and mine. An idea of God that she focused on but never talked to me about during the rough times of her life. A mother who still claimed me, when I, her son, came home from seminary, now a well trained theologian and had writen a paper that articulated an understanding of God as one who is neither in full control or has an overall plan for our lives [because if God did have a plan or that much control than things that happened to my mother would not have happen ever.] I was passionate and proud and like any good son I let her read my paper; I needed her to read my paper on "How I see God in this world." She took an hour to read it and then said, "I am proud of you, your paper is very Good and I understand how you see God." However, then she said, "As for me, I still see God as one who, has a plan and purpose for our lives." We smiled and at butter and sugar sandwiches together... Ok maybe not that last part but we did spend the rest of the day sitting in lawn chairs talking about all the other things that we never knew that we did not know about each other...
We did not speak the same langauge or have the same understanding of how God is working in our world... So my mother is no Peter in the sense of telling me to LISTEN to what he has to say! But she has often stood up next to me and said I am listening to what you have to say about God and that has encouraged me to be willing to listen to her and others as well who may speak of God differently.
Thank God for Pentecost, for mothers who stand up and listen and congregations willing to worship together particularly when we DO hear each others understandings of God clearly for the first time...
Those are my thoughts on pentecost and mother's day... what do you all think.. continue the conversation by clicking on the comment button below....