blessed pentecost...

Today is Pentecost in the Western Christian tradition: at one point during the Eucharistic Prayer I looked out of the corner of my eye and there was my grandson, Louie, standing close to me behind the communion table. I waved discretely while continuing with the liturgy. What a treasure. The whole family gathered in Pittsfield last night for feasting and story-telling. Earlier in the day we joined other locals at the opening of the Farmer's Market. And then visited the "baby" animals at Hancock Shaker Village. What a festival of feelings for this old dude...

As I looked down at Louie during Eucharist, two thoughts washed over me: first, his momma was just about that age when I was ordained; and second, what a sweet life cycle now that I am moving towards the close of ministry. What's more, in three weeks we're going to ordain a brilliant young man from within the congregation and he, too, has a family much the age of mine on the day of my ordination 35 years ago.
As we all gathered in the Chancel this morning around the communion table, serving one another the bread and the cup - singing the Sanctus with gusto as old timers were surrounded by new friends and guests - I found my eyes swelling up with tears of gratitude (much as they are now): this is the Body of Christ. Broken, often frail but always a sign of hope in a world too often obsessed with power and busyness. This is a PLACE for real people - a community of solidarity where everybody knows your - and this fills my heart with joy. In fact, during my homily, I spontaneously asked people to make a point to go introduce themselves to someone they
didn't know rather than light a candle for prayer, because our small size is a gift now a problem.

After wards, two different people told me something sacred about one of our special needs members:  one man mentioned that our friend is now engaged to be married (a blessing that I knew about) while Di told me that during part of the liturgy, this same gentleman took off his red Pentecost scarf (we handed some out at the start of worship) and placed it over the shoulders of a care-giver. He wanted her to know that she she was welcomed. This stuff mostly only happens in church. It is usually not seen by those too busy getting important things accomplished.  And to have my grandson a part of this feast was almost more than I could contain. Blessed and happy Pentecost to you all.


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