It is 2 days until Pentecost, an event with many different edges.
It was originally a harvest festival, a time of hopefulness and gratitude. I thank Pentecost for prompting lots of fun activities and events related to Pentecost. There used to be a You Tube video of a large part of the Pentecost service at Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas. The following link only shows part of what was in that video, but gives a sense of the kinds of things that can happen in a Pentecost Service.
In Israel, it marked the end of the wheat harvest — harvesting lasted 7 weeks beginning with the harvesting of barley. As such it was a time to give thanks for what was harvest and hope for the harvest next year. It was also a time to celebrate the giving of the Torah to Moses.
We thank Pentecost for the gift of the Spirit to those disciples, transforming them into apostles, from followers to leaders who initiated the development of the Christian Church.
Pentecost divides time: we shift from Sundays in Easter to Sundays after Pentecost, from the Easter season to the Season of Creation, from white and gold colours to green, detouring to red for this one day. As Donald Trump announced the pull out from the Paris Climate Accord yesterday, it divides a time when the US government seemed to matter a great deal from a time when it does not really matter. Corporations, state governments, and city governments in the US quickly announced their intentions to keep reducing emissions. Countries around the world announced their determination to keep reducing emissions. While Trump was trying to assert power, he succeeded in demonstrating his lack of real power in issues like climate change. As some people celebrate his decision, it prods the rest of us to do a better job of verifying the harmful effects of excess green house gases in our atmosphere including the acidification of lakes and oceans, accelerating the rise of ocean levels, and increasing the randomness of weather.
It provides an opportunity for me to talk about the gradual disruption caused by small changes. If I make $10,000 a year and spend $9,999 a year, I slowly accumulate wealth. If I spend $10,001 a year, I slowly go into debt. While the amount of CO2 produced by humanity may be a small part of the total CO2 produced by natural factors, if we produce a little bit more than can be removed by nature, we slowly or rapidly change the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. This change makes a small difference in the total heat stored in the earth’s oceans, lands and atmosphere. This small increase in heat increases the energy we radiate into space, but not as much as the heat that is gained. Dynamic balances work this way.
Just as Pentecost marked a beginning for an enthusiastic community of Followers of the Way, I hope it will mark the beginning of exciting new happenings for St. Andrew’s. I just received the first report for the Annual Report, and tomorrow will be the first gathering for Andychurch Outdoors and our second family Saturday evening event.
With gratitude and hope I say, “Yeah to Pentecost!”