Please take a moment to read Acts 2:1-8,12-18,37-42
I am usually in bed by 10:30pm, but last Sunday night I wanted to see for myself what was going on in Lincoln. I saw reporters struggling to breathe because of tear gas in their lungs, and protesters having choices to make. Do they follow the curfew and go home? Do they get arrested? Then at the very end of the news coverage, a preacher came on to remind us that this is Pentecost. I could hardly believe my ears!
Earlier in the day, I had heard Pastor Eric impassioned sermon of waiting for the Spirit to be in us and work through us. How do I relate Pentecost to today’s problems? The answer came at the end of the news. The pastor on the TV told of the Spirit coming to the Galilean assemblage, with fire and wind. So many different voices all proclaiming God’s message in a city far away from Lincoln.
We cannot condone violence, but we can listen to the many voices. They are heartfelt, pleading for justice. Pentecost is a celebration of God’s hand guiding the Christian community through trials and decisions that are presented to it. In Monday’s newspaper, two pages were dedicated to people who came to help clean up the after-effects of violence. This is the church coming to life- helping, listening, understanding.
Before this weekend, I had written another devotion, focusing on COVID-19. I threw that one away because what our country is facing is even more disturbing than the virus. Racism. It has no place in our church, our community and in our country. I believe the church Peter is talking about has nothing to do with ‘this corrupt generation’. I listened to the Mayor’s plea for civility, and a councilman’s cry to follow the Golden Rule! We can do better, we are the church.
Dear Jesus in Heaven,
Thank you for being with us in times of trials and decisions. We are the church in this world. We can do all things through you! Amen
Written by Cindy Swanson
Cindy and her husband, Ray, have been members of Sheridan Lutheran Church since 1978. They have 3 sons, Ben, Andrew and Patrick who were confirmed at Sheridan. They enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren (ages 2-7). Cindy retired from teaching writing to middle schoolers for Lincoln Public Schools in 2014. She savors a good cup of coffee, a well-written book, a lively discussion and chocolate. She lives near a cemetery and knows each day is a gift!