Meditation for Sunday, May 23rd, 2021
This week is Pentecost, recalling our tradition of the Holy Spirit descending on the gathering in Jerusalem. The same Holy Spirit is in the beginning hovering over the waters at Genesis, and appears as a holy wind and breath of life – not only the breath of life, but the breath of truth.
The last year has been a year all about the sacred breath of life; a year of ventilators and masks, and the death cry of “I can’t breath.” It has become a protest cry; a prophetic cry; a wake up call to the racism and injustice in our midst.
All of this…and what of Israel and Palestine (the home of the Holy One)? As President Nelson Mandela said in a 1997 speech, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
We Christians, along with Islamic Palestinians, and Jewish Israelis worship the same God, believe the same God breathed the Holy Spirit into this creation. In the Koran, the Torah, and the New Testament we find the Holy Spirit’s divine action and communication. The Holy Spirt is the gift who brings us peace, discernment, wisdom, fortitude.
According to Christian tradition on Pentecost, there is a moment in Jerusalem when the Spirit descends. There is a wild wind and at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard the disciples speaking in their own native language. They were amazed and asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?”
What would it mean for all of us to hear our own language and to be understood? Truly? I mean that individually too. How do we meet one another? Our universal language is called love – and our tradition tells us God is love. Each of us are made to carry that sacred breath of life filled with the DNA of God, filled with the Holy Spirit who was in the beginning.
We are stardust.
Our bodies are vessels for the Spirit. We were made for one another.
In the Gospel of Thomas (in which are gathered the sayings of Jesus) Jesus says, “If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty.”
The poverty of our lives is our physical frailty as well as those places of loss we carry individually, yet we choose to follow Jesus in the way of the Spirit, in the wealth of God’s creative, generative, restorative DNA.
Our commission to become fully human is to recognize these bodies of ours as the temples they are designed to be. Our task of becoming fully human is to breath in the holiness of one other. This is the truth the Holy Spirit shares with us.
We pray God breath your spirit of wisdom, of discernment of guidance and peace into the nations of this world. Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely
more than we can ask or imagine: Amen
image by Heather Sisk, graphite on paper