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Pentecostal Sunday

May 23, 2010

Together as a family at the airport before saying good-bye

Parting words – by Jesus:

‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever.’

‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.’

John 14v15+26

When Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit. Today is Pentecost, the day that Christians celebrate the fulfillment of this promise.

One of my favorite websites to go to for spending time reflecting on God’s presence is Sacred Space. Every week has a new thought to think about and every day has its own guided meditation and Bible verse. The thought for this week was this:

Jesus’ image of the wheat grain dying, then bearing fruit, symbolizes not just our mortal life, but the many times we die a little before our death: with every parting, moving of house or job, loss of a friend or dear one, loss of property. Can I think of any experience of suffering and loss that has borne fruit because of God’s grace? How did it happen? To cling to what we have lost is to bury our life in the past. Even the most painful loss can be a new beginning. Lord, when I was suffering pain, and the loss of people and things I loved, I believe you were somehow present to me. Show me how you were.

This got me thinking about that moment of saying good-bye, which is an awful moment if you ask me. In my daily life, I don’t think too much about what I miss out on by not living in the same country as my family. Yet, of course, on my recent trip I couldn’t help but think about it a little bit. Especially at that moment of departure, where tears were involved.

By choosing to live in another country, I’m subjecting myself and loved ones to living in a certain tension, which can be painful for all involved sometimes.

Reflecting on these feelings helps me understand how Jesus’ friends and family must have felt when He left. You know, saying good-by hurts, and I’m guessing the feeling is exactly the same if the person you’re saying good-bye to happens to be the Son of God and promises you a new Presence in your life which will be better than having Him around. And I wonder how Jesus felt? Since He was also human, I’m guessing saying good-bye wasn’t all that much fun for Him either.

There is a tension in leaving, even when it is for a good reason.

All I can say is that it gives me more reason to enjoy every moment I have with the people I love.

And as for Pentecost, it’s a happy story where the Spirit of God moved powerfully in the lives of a group of people about two thousand years ago. And this story continues today, with people around the world still experiencing this power, this Presence.

And that’s what I celebrate today, sitting here behind my computer, before I go to work.

Wishing you a beautiful Pentecostal Sunday!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2010 4:03 am

    Such a beautiful, uplifting message. Thanks for sharing. I needed to hear that this morning.

  2. May 26, 2010 7:18 am

    Oh yes, it would be very difficult to live in a different country than your family…I am only 20 minutes from the home I grew up in where my parents still live. I’m sure your visits with them are extra special and truly cherished!

    Hugs ~

    :) T

  3. May 26, 2010 6:28 pm

    i love love love that is so funny to see we’ve grown up..somehow this picture made me realize that…it is different from the pic of the 4 of us in NYC.. something happened…and it is good :)

    i love you so much grote zus!

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