Thursday, June 03, 2004

Pentecost morning

I took some big risks on Sunday. It is Pentecost after all. But I still didn’t sleep well on Saturday night.

Risk one: Pentecost is about chaos. After a confession and a song, I gave space for the kids to blow bubbles and throw balloons around while I played a track about the Spirit for all people. How would people respond?

Risk two: the sermon for the first time gave space for interaction. I gave a number of real life situations and asked for feedback around two questions: where is the spirit of life, where the Spirit of Jesus. How would people respond?

Risk three: we finished with a Latin chant, Veni Sancte Spiritus. Baptists in New Zealand have had a very bad track record of unease around things Catholic. Yes, if Pentecost was about speaking in different languages, that would have included Latin. But how would people respond?

We had 150 people at worship. It’s the most the church has had in over 2 years. Now when you are a church in decline, who has lost 150 people in 5 years and 400 people in 10 years, to see new faces and new faces return is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

And when bubbles lay all over the church floor, and an 85 year old started batting around her balloon, and a semi-retired man looked at me with a sparkle in his eye and yelled “what have you done,” I sort of felt like Pentecost: joyful, chaos.

Some other Pentecost resources on this blog:
– art and theology here
– an annual Pentecost journal here
– global Pentecost resource here
– Pentecost festival 06 here and 07 here

Posted by steve at 04:47 PM


  1. I really, really wish I could have been there! It sounds awesome.

    Comment by Michelle — June 3, 2004 @ 11:01 pm

  2. Sounds fun! Isn’t it great how often the Spirit comes through when we open a space?

    Comment by Tim — June 4, 2004 @ 6:24 am

  3. good on you for not letting your nerves stifle the Spirit. I reckon Pentecost was pretty scary, and well out of human control. and definitely chaotic. giving the appearance of drunken, even.

    what about a Peter-style wrap-up? sort of an: “OK folks, here’s what all the excitement is about.” how did that bit play out?

    Comment by kelli — June 4, 2004 @ 1:26 pm

  4. too cool!

    Comment by anj — June 5, 2004 @ 2:26 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.