This Sunday could be considered the most important in the church year. We would not know about Christmas and Easter, let alone celebrate them, if it were not for what happened on Pentecost. There would be no church, no message of good news. Jesus of Nazareth would not be even a footnote in history.
Instead he became the single most influential man who ever lived.
There was a saying in the American Civil Rights Movement about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Martin did not make the Movement–the Movement made Martin.”
Jesus never founded a church or religious institution, and at the time of his death most of his disciples had deserted him–all but a handful of strong, courageous and faithful women.
Because of those women, the other disciples discovered that the tomb was empty and Jesus lived, and so it was that they were all in one place on the day of Pentecost when the miracle happened and the movement began that is the one reason why Jesus became what he did and why we have a church today.
So this is a big Sunday. We will hear the story from the second chapter of Acts about what happened, as well as a verse from the Gospel of John where Jesus prophesies about it. (John 16:13) We will also read from the beautiful Psalm about the Spirit of creation, number 104.
We will sing “Breathe on Me, Breath of God,” and “Be Thou My Vision,” and a popular contemporary hymn, “Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness,” that has a flowing melody that fits perfectly with the story of the Holy Spirit on earth.
The sermon title will be “Declaring the Things That Are to Come” and our Future Directions Study Group will unveil the summary statements of appreciations and dreams that are drawn from our questionnaire and small gatherings last fall. The Spirit is calling us this Pentecost into a new chapter of our lives to meet our rapidly changing world.
The choir will sing three beautiful, popular songs of praise in different languages, as is fitting on Pentecost, “Henay Ma Tov,” “God Is So Good/Mungu Ni Mwema” and “Have Nashira.” Pianist Annemieke McLane will play Bach preludes 9 and 21, BWV 854 and 866, as well as “Les Bergeries” by F. Couperin.