Oakland church

Archive for Holy Spirit

Pentecost, Unbounded Energy of the Spirit

This coming Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, the mysterious, life giving power and unbounded energy of the Spirit.  We welcome the wind and fire, wonder and wildness to change our lives, personally and collectively, particularly when it seems to be on the verge of apocalypse. 

Wear RED if you can in celebration of the fiery spirit.  

Id like to share with you a benediction by May Sarton;  an invitation to return to the deep source:

Unison Benediction

Return to the most human,
nothing less will nourish the torn spirit,
the bewildered heart,
the angry mind:
and from the ultimate duress,
pierced with the breath of anguish,
speak of love.

Return, return to the deep sources,
nothing less will teach the stiff hands a new way to serve,
to carve into our lives the forms of tenderness
and still that ancient necessary pain preserve.

Return to the most human,
nothing less will teach the angry spirit,
the bewildered heart;
the torn mind,
to accept the whole of its duress,
and pierced with anguish…
at last, act for love.

~ May Sarton ~

“I Will Pour Out My Spirit Upon all Flesh”

I love this vision, written thousands of years ago: 

God declares, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh”.  

 All people… not just some. 

How radically inclusive these prophetic words from the book of Acts must have sounded, two thousand years ago, to explicitly include women, young people, and slaves in this vision. No limits to this inclusive vision! 

God continues, “All of them shall prophesy, with dreams and visions”. All of them…  

What are the dreams and visions that God is poured out upon you? What are the dreams and visions that you have yet to hear from?  

 Join us this Sunday as we share our God-inspired dreams and visions for our lives and for this faith community. 

I invite you to reflect upon these beautiful quotes: 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th century
“Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.”

Friedrich Nietzsche, 19th century
“A sedentary life is the real sin against the Holy Spirit. Only those thoughts that come by walking have any value.”

L.J. Suenens, 20th century
“I believe in the surprises of the Holy Spirit.”

Sandy Olson, Alternatives for Simple Living, 21st century
“I read a wonderful quote from the twelfth century mystic, Hildegard of Bingen that gave me pause. She described the Holy Spirit as ‘the Greening Power of God.’ Of course she did not intend that in the context that we might mean by ‘Greening’ something; that is, making it more environmentally friendly. She meant, I believe, that as plants are greened by water, sunlight, and soil, the human soul is ‘greened’ by the Holy Spirit’s presence in one’s life. Because of the Holy Spirit the human soul can ‘flower and bear good fruit.'”

 N.T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 21st century
“Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet.”

Albert Camus, 20th century
“Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as quietly as doves. Perhaps, then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations a faint flutter of wings, a gentle stirring of life and hope.”

Pentecost is Upon Us: the Life Giving Power of Spirit

Pentecost is upon us.. a celebration of the life giving power of the Spirit, a gift from God promised to us all, not just once upon a time thousands of years ago, but now.

May we be all be kindled in the fire of  Divine love.

I leave you with a poem from the poet William Blake:

Unless the eye catch fire,
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
The God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
The God will not be known.

William Blake (1757-1827) from Pentecost

Holy Spirit: Transforms and Calls Forth

This Sunday we honor the power of the Holy Spirit to empower us, to fill us with vision, and to transform our fear into love.

We also honor the power of the Holy Spirit which calls forth our unique gifts and our desire to use them for the greater good.

I leave you with this reflection:

sally_rogers_hymn