Pentecost B, ‘18
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
Trinity Lutheran Congregation
Today is Pentecost. The red in our midst is a reminder to us of the tongues of fire on everyone’s heads in the Pentecost story in Acts we often read on this day. Red is the color representing the Holy Spirit at work . Today we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit
Today’s reading from John is sadly lacking in drama, really. It is part of a three-chapter sermon that Jesus is sharing with his followers. He has been talking about his leaving. Even though this moment has been coming for some time, his disciples have been stunned into silence by this. In their shock and grief they simply don’t know what to think or say.
These heart-felt words from Jesus are partly words of comfort. The tensions were rising and it was becoming clearer every day that Jesus’ time was getting shorter. The authorities weren’t going to tolerate his teaching and challenging of the system much longer. Jesus was explaining that he had to leave, so that the Spirit would come so that they could continue following Jesus and teaching the way of Jesus. . They are also words of hope.
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Gospel: John 17: 6-19
Imagine with me. It is the night of the Last Supper with Jesus, and we his disciples have just heard a lengthy sermon from him, talking about the most important commandment to love one another; about himself as a vine and we as branches; about abiding in God’s love. It seems like Jesus is nearing the end of what he has to say, but suddenly, his expression changes and he looks up to the ceiling—no, to the heavens—and we realize he is not speaking to us anymore, but to his Father.
“All mine are yours, and yours are mine,” he says. Like walking in on someone’s private conversation, we have been given a window into the relationship of God to Godself; the holy dance of Spirit, and parent, and child.
I do not know from personal experience what the intimacy between a father and son is like, but I do know the intimacy between a mother and a daughter. It is a blessing I don’t take lightly, in part because I came to understand it through the loss of another mother in my family—Ruth, my mother’s sister.
I may have a learning to share. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I have a ‘wondering’ to share and think more about.
This past Friday we had an Urban Hub meeting. The Urban Hub (Augsburg, CAIR-MN, Bethany, ICSA/Dar Al-Hijrah and Trinity) has been meeting for almost 2 years and has been regularly serving Coffee and Tea outside Cedar-Riverside mosques after Friday Juma prayers. This simple yet very meaningful activity was, in part, in response to the Muslim travel ban put in place in January 2017.
Friday was the first time that Darul Quba joined us. We have done the Coffee and Tea there twice, but this was the first time that anyone from there agreed to come. I think they might become a part of our group. We did some planning for the next Coffee and Tea and other activities we are considering getting involved in as a group in the neighborhood. We talked about a couple of opportunities for Iftars during Ramadan and maybe doing something during the Nobel Peace Prize Forum at Augsburg this coming Fall.