Today is the day known as Pentecost – the completion of the Jewish Feast of Weeks and also the day in the Christian faith where we remember the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 1. The traditional color of Pentecost is a bright red symbolizing fire (as in the “tongues” of fire that rested on the Apostles’ heads on the day of Pentecost. Its one of the few days in the year that I can wear one of my favorite liturgical stoles – a beautiful red one that my wife made for me. If I were leading worship today, I would have been wearing it. I did, however, participate in worship today in a congregation celebrating not only Pentecost, but also ordaining elders and deacons into ministry in that congregation. The passage today from Matthew 10 spoke to me of more of the realities of ministry – both the challenges that can come (its not an easy thing to do) and the blessings (witnessing and participating in the power and work of God in the world) that are present. As the blessing was laid upon those elders and deacons, I thought of the promise that this chapter starts with…that Jesus summoned his disciples and “gave them authority…” One of the things that is far too easy to forget is that God has given us that authority – as pastors, as elders, as deacons…simply as followers of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. A reminder to me today to live in and trust in that power.
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