Pastor’s June Voice Column
Check out June Voice Online
by Mark S
Worship in June at St. Peter begins with Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is the third major festival in the church year. Christmas being the first, celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus. Easter being the second, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Pentecost is the third, celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s not as popular a festival worship in American churches as elsewhere around the globe. At least not in Lutheran churches in America. Perhaps that is because Lutherans are often criticized for lacking emphasis on the third part of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Or, perhaps it is because Pentecost usually falls at the end of the school year or beginning of summer break. Which is to say, culturally speaking, it’s not an ideal time for a festival worship.
Regardless of whether Pentecost is a popular worship or not we will be worshiping on Pentecost Sunday, June 4 this year. The color of the day for Pentecost is red. This means the worship paraments on the altar, pulpit, lectern and the stole that I wear will be red. Worship committee is also asking that everyone wears red to worship that day. Red can remind us of the Holy Spirit that filled those first disciples on the day of Pentecost so many years ago. As we read from Acts 2, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they 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.”
An old Prayer of the Day reads, “God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as you sent upon the disciples the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, look upon your Church and open our hearts to the power of the Spirit. Kindle in us the fire of your love, and strengthen our lives for service in your kingdom; through you Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.” I really like this prayer, and particularly love the phrase, “Kindle in us the fire of your love.” I see the Spirit kindling such love in numerous ways all the time in and through the people of St. Peter Lutheran.
On Sunday, June 4 we will pray fervently for the power of the Holy Spirit to continue kindling in us the fire of Christ’s love. Pull out whatever red outfits you have. Let’s celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit together.