Pentecost Reflection

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Dear CBC community,

In 1972, when I was thirteen years old, I attended Catholic Charismatic meetings with my older sister and brother.  The meetings were on Monday evenings and there was lots of praise, prayer, and speaking in tongues. The people came from all over the region and were enthusiastic and full of joy in the presence of God.  It was so unlike a typical Sunday Mass! I was intrigued by speaking in tongues but I was also afraid that if I committed myself to God, something precious - baseball - would be taken from me! I don’t know why I thought this but fear won out and I decided to stop attending the meetings.  God was too threatening so in my mind I said “no” to God.

Thankfully I had an encounter with God six years later and said yes.  None of my earlier fears were realized; I have always found God to be a giver, not a taker.  Yet I am recalling this story because as I think about Pentecost, I realize that some of those same fears still exist within me. Will God ask something of me now that I either don’t want to do or am afraid to do?  Will I be asked to give up some comfort or security that I am clinging to? Do you share any of my fears or hesitations? Do you ever hold back from God because fear wins out over faith, insecurity over trust?

As we approach Pentecost and celebrate the power of God in our lives and community, it is helpful to remember that mistrust in God is what started humanity down a harmful path.  Adam and Eve were tempted to mistrust God and their fear ushered in this “present evil age.” The temptation to mistrust God and to lean on our own understanding is effective to this very day.  But God’s forgiveness and reconciliation through Christ along with the gift of the Holy Spirit testifies conclusively to the goodness of God. God is for us not against us! Trusting him will never be a mistake.

Will you join me in choosing faith over fear in this season of Pentecost?  Are there any walls up to God in your heart that you could let down? Are there any fears of what God might ask that you could repent of?  Is there any doubt in the character and trustworthiness of God that you need to be set free from? Let’s come to God together this Pentecost Sunday and “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).

Blessing and power,

Pastor Dan