Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. Acts of the Apostles 2:3
Although many of us are Zoom-weary and have Politics Fatigue, there are fires everywhere that deserve our attention. My hope as a Christian is that those of us who take Jesus seriously are on fire ourselves: burning hearts, flaming tongues. This is the imagery of Pentecost.
Pentecost Sunday is ignored by many devout Christians and I’m not sure why. Our culture doesn’t recognize it as a Hallmark Holiday. A quick review of upcoming sermons at the largest independent churches near me seem to indicate that Acts 2 will not be the lesson for this Sunday in spite of the liturgical calendar (because those churches are not particularly liturgical?)
The world is on fire, so why aren’t we?
Where I live there are plans to discuss voter rights in a weekend Zoom Call. There is a virtual interfaith vigil on Monday to lament, mourn, and honor the 100,000+ who have died from COVID-19. There are online gatherings to confess the sins of systemic racism as demonstrated most recently by the death of George Floyd and the 911 call by Amy Cooper.
And then there’s Pentecost Sunday. Can we who claim to be followers of Jesus go about our usual schedules without stopping to consider why or why not we are experiencing the fire of the Holy Spirit?
What are we on fire about today? The release of new music? The Dow? The unemployment rate? Ahmaud Arbery? The 2020 election? Running out of flour?
God has called each of us to love our neighbors. Which neighbors are we on fire to love today? And how will we love them?
It’s not a rhetorical question.