The first Pentecost was anything but a tame event. The winds howled, the walls rattled, the earth shook. What’s more, “tongues of fire” descended upon everyone huddled in that upper room. Clearly the Holy Spirit came not as a gentle breeze, but more as a hurricane or earthquake.
The disciples too seemed filled with this “untamed power” of God. They didn’t leisurely saunter out of the upper room that day. No, they were almost catapulted out the doors and into the streets. Once outside, they began speaking with such joy and enthusiasm that some of the bystanders thought they were drunk. The effect of their preaching was also wildly amazing: 3,000 individuals converted to the gospel in a single day!
The story of the first Pentecost raises some questions for us. First, do we appreciate God’s wildness? Do we appreciate the wildness of God’s love that created the cosmos in the first place? How wild is the universe? Try to count the stars… gaze at and smell a peony… listen to the Cardinal’s song… look for deer in the park… stroll along a shore. Do we appreciate the wildness of God that gave us Jesus, God incarnate… The wildness that enabled Jesus to surrender to a cruel death out of love for us. The wildness that caused God to make foolish promises to us like, “I will be with you always”?
The wildness of Pentecost raises another question? Does anything of the wildness of God exist in me? In the name of God or love, what wild things have I done in my life? One of the wildest things I ever did was enter the convent when I was not quite 18. (I hope my wildness didn’t end with that!) Maybe you did a wild thing by getting married and then by wildly welcoming “untamed” children into your life. Or maybe you chose a path in life that put helping others ahead of monetary gain. Actually, anyone trying to live a life of integrity and compassion and unselfishness is doing a very wild thing in a world that rewards cunning, has little sympathy for those in need, and is constantly urging us to “Watch out for #1!”
With these thoughts in mind, let us pray this Pentecost Prayer…
Spirit of Pentecost,
We thank you for the wildness of your love.
We thank you for the power, ingenuity, breadth, extravagance, and joy of your untamable love.
Give us a share of your wildness.
Help us to live according to the radical demands of the gospel.
Help us to trust in your promptings, whether they come as a gentle breeze or forceful gale.
May we always be filled with the exuberance of your Spirit
wherever your Holy Winds may take us. Amen.
I chose a song that is lively and a little wild. It’s “Witness” by Jordan Feliz. (I love the “drums” which sound like someone beating garbage cans!) To me, the song says, through all the ups and downs in life, God’s love is gushing all around us. In our life, we have many witnesses to this faith and trust in God. Can we be a witness to others too?
PS: Please pray for a retreat I will be facilitating at the Sophia Center in Atchison, KS from May 15-20. The theme is “Prayer: Finding God in the Ordinary and the Amazing.” Thank you!
Retreat Cruise: In case you are registering for the Retreat Cruise, be sure to include the following: Host: Svoboda/Sisters of Notre Dame, Host ID #58170. The brochure on this blog page already has this information filled in. Thank you!
Now it’s your turn. Is there anything you’d like to add or comment on? If so, please do below.