Signs of God’s presence are evident | Worship

By Ariana Shek, Faith Lutheran Church | May 23, 2018

Among Christians, the feast of Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

In the Bible, in the book of Acts chapter 2, we read, “And suddenly from Heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind and it filled the entire house.” (v. 2 New Revised Standard Version translation).

Later, we read that divided tongues of fire rested on each of the people gathered in the house. All were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages.

On Pentecost Sunday, just three days ago, as a way to recreate today this sign of God’s presence that happened long ago. Some faith communities may have had the biblical lessons read in languages that may represent the local context, such as Norwegian, English, Spanish, and German.

We believe that no matter the language or languages we speak, the culture or cultures each person may represent, the Holy Spirit is on the go like a strong wind, creating opportunities for relationship, unity as opposed to uniformity, and life in our community among all people.

Two years ago, I was invited to join the efforts of Faith Lutheran Church in Everett to begin a new Spanish-speaking ministry or “New Start.”

For now, we’re calling this ministry “Vecinos” (the word for “neighbors” in Spanish). During this time, neighbors have experienced in their own Spanish language life and hope through prayer, and new relationships.

We believe the same Spirit that showed up unexpectedly on the first day of Pentecost today gathers neighbors together for Christian community, and scatters them out to bless and serve the world.

We are meeting neighbors in a variety of stages of life. We don’t know yet what the future waits for Vecinos, but we hope participants can continue to learn from each other’s abilities, grow in faith, and build Christian community.

In this short time, signs of God’s presence are already evident in the lives of Vecinos. Signs of the Divine’s presence at Pentecost, like the ability to communicate in a different language other than one’s own, may be awe striking.

Other less obvious, but equally powerful, signs of the Divine’s presence in the lives of participants of Vecinos include mutual care, faith renewal, and unity.

 

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