I was reminded it would be Pentecost Sunday on May 31 several days before then while reading a pastor’s post from a church a block off of Lake Street in Minneapolis. They’d opened their doors the night of riots to assist in treating people who needed help. My goddaughter is associated with that church. Just the day before, I’d gotten a puffy envelope from her — three lovely homemade masks. (The two floral ones hang decoratively from my mirror in the bathroom; the red and black checked one is now a prized possession of my husband’s.)
Earlier that very day, I sat on the edge of the bed in the morning and thought well, at least “the fabric of society,” which is a phrase I like of a political commentator on TV, is still largely intact. Little did I know.
Saturday night, after hearing chanting from a demonstration in a nearby park, I briefly joined a prayer service online that I saw announced on my news feed. On a deck with a few other folks, the Hillcity Church pastor in Hudson with his big beard explained to the camera that there and at other small prayer groups, people would be saying the Lord’s Prayer a few phrases at a time. He apologized in advance for the several times he would be turning his back to the camera. When he did, the spindles on the back of his bright red chair also reminded me of Pentecost — when people are sometimes asked to wear red to church.
On Sunday, amidst acclamations of “alleluia, amen and thank you Jesus” along with some clapping and a little tambourine playing, there was worship and praise, prayer and thanksgiving during the live stream from Pentecostals of New Richmond.
After announcements about a young visitor who was now as tall as his grandmother, the planned birth of someone else’s grandson on Monday, and a reminder to wave not shake hands, we were asked to “shelve our preconceived notions” about church.
When the spirit descended upon the 120 in the upper room during the first Pentecost “supernatural” understanding occurred like “tumblers in a lock” falling into place and “spontaneous worship” occurred. We were asked to imagine singing and dancing and maybe even “cartwheels down the alley.”
Although it’s “not for us to know the time” of “thy kingdom come,” we were given assurances that receiving peace and joy is “not just a one-time thing.”