Showing posts from June, 2011

What Was the Point of Pentecost?

Today is Pentecost Sunday--not that you'd know it in a church of Christ. I don't know about the mainline or liberal congregations, but the conservative non-institutional branch of the COC emphatically does not observe the church calendar in any fashion. A Sunday is a Sunday is a Sunday, all the same, forever and ever, world without end, amen.

Thus, it's always fun for me to observe the changes that occur at my new congregation as the liturgical year progresses. In honor of Pentecost, the decorations, candles, and vestments are red, symbolizing the tongues of fire that hovered over the disciples on the very first Pentecost. The readings, songs, and sermon are all about the Spirit and how it inspires us to love our fellow humans and gives us power to do good in the world.

Such talk of the Spirit would be shockingly out of place in the COC where I grew up. I remember that sermons on the Holy Spirit were few and far between, and they tended to be more about what the Spirit does …