Letter from Richard: Pentecost

Dear friends,

It is hard to believe that the close of Easter is upon us, as the great fifty days end this Sunday with Pentecost (be sure to wear red to church!). The long Eastertide season will subside, and the even longer post-Pentecost season will begin once again. But let’s linger on Pentecost for a moment.

Besides the rare use of red vestments that day—symbolizing the fire of the Holy Spirit on the tongues of fire—we mark the day with a cacophony of languages, honoring one of the first gifts of the Holy Spirit to be bestowed on the disciples and followers of Jesus in the wake of his ascension into heaven. That cacophony symbolizes the beauty of diversity in both language and gifts that God gives us. It is this panoply of Pentecost that gives the church its rich texture, composing a body that extends across time and continents, giving us a spectrum of ways to view the mission God gives us and ways to build Christ’s reign in this world. The real power of Pentecost is that it allows us to joyfully view this spectrum, recognizing that our community of saints is not monolithic, and neither are our experiences.

The power of that spectrum also keeps us honest and attentive to the margins of our community. As you receive this later in the afternoon of Thursday, May 25, 2023, many will be reflecting on the murder of George Floyd, and the institutional racism and injustices in our country. As hard as it is to believe that this Easter season is closing, it’s more stymying to me that it’s been three years to the day since George Floyd was killed in police custody. What is a Pentecost response to the ills of our society?

Speaking up, using our tongues and hearts of fire to remake the world around us is the very essence of what makes the story of Jesus and the way he lived so compelling. Jesus didn’t shy away from the social ills of his time; he embraced the pain of dispossessed and oppressed. He embraced the power of speaking the truth in love, calling out and clashing with forces of violence that put power on a pedestal and people in the grave. Jesus asks us to confront these same realities, not with fear, but with courage, love, and compassion.

As we look to Pentecost and Memorial Day, I pray we all find space and time to use our God given gifts and our hard-won freedoms to create more life, opportunity, and community together. We do honor to our Creator when we live lives of blessing, bringing hope and joy to those society chooses to forget. May God give us hearts of love and flame to heal and bless the world.

Yours in Christ,

Like this post? Share it with your friends and family...


2 thoughts on “Letter from Richard: Pentecost”

  1. Thanks for these words that compel us to act. We can go to sdop.org (San Diego Organizing Project) to advocate for legislation that offers increased equity in our flawed justice system.


Leave a Comment


Because of you, we can continue to serve as a center of transformative love, faith and service!

Have questions or need to make changes?
Feel free to contact us, and we will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.