From Nancy Jean Whitehead...

Next Sunday (June 4) we will be celebrating Pentecost when we recall the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the gathered disciples. As a result of this amazing event the disciples were given the ability to speak in words everyone could understand regardless of race or creed. The young church was born and there was an outpouring of energy and enthusiasm to spread the good news and to bring people into a relationship with the risen Christ.

One of the traditional readings for Pentecost is the story of the valley of the dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14). In this story the mortal is placed among the dry bones and told to prophesy to bring them together. The bones reconnect, are covered with sinew and flesh, but they still do not live. It is only when the mortal is told to prophesy to the breath to come from the four winds and breathe upon the beings that they come to life.

This is not only a story from Biblical history. It is just as relevant now. There will be times in our life as faith communities when we may well become like the dry bones – when we are lifeless and lacking energy – and we need to explore why this has happened. Are we wandering aimlessly? Are we in some way in exile? What has drained the life and energy out of us? Are we simply plodding along the same well-worn path and getting nowhere?

The season of Pentecost is a time for us to see visions and dream dreams. It is a time for us to be open to the work of the Spirit in our lives. It is a time to look closely at our life as faith communities
to find the dry bones which are in desperate need of new life or a decent burial. We need to ask questions like: are we worrying away at the things that cause lifelessness? are we trying to put life back into things that should be allowed to die?”

As we look at the dry bones, and try to make some decisions about them, I would also like us to be “seeing visions and dreaming dreams”. And like the first disciples, I’d like us to be able to talk about our faith in ways that a largely unchurched community can understand.

Most of us find it hard to talk to others about our faith and struggle to put what we believe into words that make sense. Yet, I believe that there are many people around who are really searching for something more than themselves, who are seeking spiritually and looking for either answers or places to ask the questions. My hope is that over these weeks following Pentecost we too will be inspired to share our faith with those we meet and to tell our stories to those who ask.

In the meantime let us enjoy the days when the sun shines, wrap up warmly when it is cold and look in wonder at the beauty of God’s creation in the clear frosty night skies and the sparkling snow-capped mountains.