Done Got Old

somebody

Jesus told him, “I myself am the Way – I am Truth, and I am Life.  No one comes to Abba God but through me.  If you really knew me, you would know Abba God also, from this point on, you know Abba God and have seen God.”

“Rabbi,” Phillip said, “Show us Abba God, and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and still you don’t know me?  Whoever has sent me has seen Abba God.  How can you say, ‘Show us your Abba’?  Don’t you believe that I am in Abba God and God is in me?  The words I speak are not spoken of myself; it is Abba God, living in me, who is accomplishing the works of God.  Believe me that I am in God and God is in me, or else believe because of the works I do.  The truth of the matter is, anyone who has faith in me will do the works I do – and greater works besides.  Why?  Because I go to Abba God, and whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that God may be glorified in me.  Anything you ask in my name I will do.  If you love me and obey the command I give you, I will ask the One who sent me to give you another Paraclete, another helper to be with you always – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept since the world neither sees her nor recognizes her; but you can recognize the Spirit because she remains with you and will be with you.  I won’t leave you orphaned; I will come back to you.  A little while now and the world will see me no more; but you’ll see me; because I live, and you will live as well.”

John 14:6-19

It’s PENTECOST!!!  My favorite church holiday.  Last year we graduated and got diplomas conferring upon us the perplexing and confusing movement of the Spirit.  This year I wanted to do something more elaborate.  I planned a parade, a block party, and I was in the middle of tracking down The Commodores to headline this event and I came upon budgetary constraints.

So, I backed it up a bit and decided to piggyback Pentecost with Pride.  Friday there was a block party celebrating 44 years of Gay Civil rights.  The parade begins today at 4:00 PM.  The Commodores could not make it this year but I hear that there is nothing but big plans for next year.

I have always had big plans clouding the daily details of life.  20 years ago I was running around El Camino Real high school with my best friend, Jon.  We both wore swimming goggles and were pretending to save random peoples lives.  We’d jump in to the middle of a group of folks and pull someone to shore.

We were about to graduate.  We were on cloud 9.  Earlier that morning we both found out that we would indeed graduate.  We had been taking classes at adult school to make up for the missing credits that we acquired during our junior year.  There was real fear that the maximum efforts that we put in to the last few months would not overcome the minimal efforts of the previous 24 months.

Our parents we angry, our friends were concerned, and we were in denial.  All of that did not matter.  We had avoided the inevitable and would walk with our class in a few days.  So we ran.  We imagined.  The world was our oyster.  We imagined the possibilities that were out there waiting for us.

We had both received attention from a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin.  We dreamed of going to college but that horrible junior year prevented us from really doing much of anything.  I was set to attend the local community college.  Jon was moving to Canada to continue his high school education, Canada has a 13th grade for high school.  Our friends were mostly leaving.  Most were heading off to well respected universities with a long history of a quality education.  A couple joined the military.  Dave got Cancer and died before he finished his first year at university.  Pregnancies, accidental overdoses, hate-crimes, and a general sense of uncertainty dislodged the hope and promise that we set out with.

Years went bye.  Friendships dimmed.  New friends were made.  We grew up.  And like the boys from Stand By Me we soon became distant memories of youthful exuberance that reminded our aging bodies that we were once capable of a whole lot more.

This is where we are today.  A mix of promise and hope befuddled by the distant and not-so-distant memories of youth, yesterday, and all in between.  That place where longing for the glory of heaven and the comforts of earth intersect and injustice and disappointment have a better shot at success than justice and gratitude.

If Pentecost is the churches graduation then we must honor it.  There is so much focus on other moments in the churches calendar.  This is the last big hooray before we slip back in to ordinary time and take a break for the summer.  What do you do with the time between Christmas and Easter?

There are no pageants, no family dinners, no candy, and no corporate national holiday to co-opt this day.  We are left alone to honor this day.  We put on big people clothes and gather to be equipped to do what God is calling us to do.

 

Graduation celebrates the hard work and effort put in to arrive at that point.  Once the haze wears off more work and another goal presents itself.  Once you graduate the expectations arrive.

Today’s graduates face a tough job market.  Time happens and brings unfulfilled expectations and unforeseen circumstances.  Fatigue sets in.  We settle.  We lose those youthful dreams.  That prophetic voice dims and we are left with the trappings of life and our soul goes on ill-replenished.

This is where the church comes in.  The church dares to dream dreams that transform the world.  Equipped with the status quo challenging Gospel of Jesus the Christ we enter the fray and light the way towards justice, peace, hope, and renewal.

Pentecost is that moment in the history of the church that connects us to those dark moments in which creation itself was breathed into existence.  That same whispered breath that covered the darkness silently and with zeal moves us in to position to meet the woe of this world with the love of God, the peace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is the time when everybody becomes somebody.  The moment in time when the Spirit of the Holy God moves across the masses and declares in you that I am somebody!!!

I may be a drug addict, but I am – Somebody!

I may be ashamed, but I am – Somebody!

I may be an alcoholic, but I am – Somebody!

I may be homeless, but I am – Somebody!

I may be Gay, but I am – Somebody!

I may be on welfare, but I am – Somebody!

I may be undocumented, but I am – Somebody!

I may be a convict, but I am – Somebody!

I may be Lesbian, but I am – Somebody!

I may be a prisoner, but I am – Somebody!

I may be in debt, but I am – Somebody!

I may be uneducated, but I am – Somebody!

I may be depressed, but I am – Somebody!

I may be lonely, but I am – Somebody!

I must be somebody, because I’m God’s child.

I must be respected and protected.

I must be free and full of life.

I am black.  I am white.  I am brown.  I am red.  I am yellow.  I am beautiful!

I am – Somebody!

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