Thursday, May 24, 2007

When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.

What would this speaking and hearing many languages look like in Jackson, Wyoming? What are all the languages spoken here? Visitors come from all over the world - every continent. Standing at Old Faithful I have heard at least 10 different languages being spoken nearby. Among those living in our community the main languages are English and Spanish - how does each hear our message of witness? Besides these languages, there are the languages of the generations. How can the message of Christ be heard by the youngest to the oldest person in Jackson? St. John's has messengers who speak the languages we find in our midst. The Latino Resource Center assists those whose language of origin is Spanish to learn the language of Jackson Hole - not just words but the language of economics, community services, and employment. Can St. John's offer the words of our faith? The leaders of the ministries with children, youth, and adults speak a specialized language to convey our faith to one another. The Browse N Buy speaks a language of clothing and goods that offers quality merchandise to stretch budgets and a way to put items to use rather than to the dump. Young adults and others face a confusion of financial messages - staggering under increasing debt loads - do we have members that could offer to speak a word of hope for them?

Could the fire of the Holy Spirit enlighten us to see how we might speak the words and actions of our faith in the streets of Jackson Hole? I believe you have begun to do this and I challenge you to see new opportunities of witness. The church has reorganized to support this witness - it is no longer a small church in a small community. Different ways of being church are emerging - not better or worse - but different - sometimes the fire of the Holy Spirit is a bit painful but it is fire that refines us to learn once again how to be Christ's body in the world.

Alleluia, alleluia - let us go forth rejoicing in the power of the Spirit!

Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia!

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Ann, lovely words.

The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Off topic, but my family and I had a lovely vacation in and around Jackson Hole and The Tetons, one of the best ever. I have very fond memories of the area.