The Power of Pentecost

An engaging article by Rhonda Mawhood Lee at Duke’s “Faith and Leadership” can be found here, on the importance of Pentecost in challenging our nationalist, ethnic, and other assumptions. One quote:

“The biblical witness tells me the Spirit sends them: invitations to listen for truths spoken in an unfamiliar accent, to sing a familiar song to a new melody, to hear a Bible story narrated from a perspective I’d rather ignore because it threatens my understanding of the world.

God offers these invitations not because the church is one more diversity program to be tweaked according to the latest census data but because the messianic age has come. The reign of Babel has ended, and Jesus Christ’s followers are called to proclaim that reality.”


“The creative act is one of great boldness where you act on your own beliefs. Creativity is the ability to risk being different from the crowd, to think differently, to act differently, and yet in a calculated, orderly fashion so that your idea, your vision, your new insight, is clear. It is the successful effort to make completeness out of chaos, to make the world dance, for a moment or forever, to your drum, at your pace, to your dream.”

– Judy Collins, Morning, Noon and Night

The static of the false self…

“God goes after our accumulated junk with something equivalent to a compressor and starts digging through our defense mechanisms, revealing the secret corners that hide the unacceptable parts of ourselves.

We may think it is the end of our relationship with God. Actually, it is an invitation to a new depth of relationship with God. A lot of emptying and healing has to take place if we are to be resopnsive to the sublime communications of God. The full transmission of divine life cannot come through and be fully heard if the static of the false self is too loud.”

– Thomas Keating, from Invitation to Love