Praying Towards Sunday - May 15th, 2016 (Pentecost)

Praying Towards Sunday - Sr. Greta Ronningen, CDL

I just returned from twelve days in the Holy Land. What an extraordinary experience! Every day was packed with awe inspiring moments - I had hardly dried my eyes when new tears were falling. Just imagine standing in the Jordan River where Jesus was Baptized and reconfirming your Baptismal Covenant. Or touching the rock where Jesus prepared breakfast for Peter and asked him if he loved him. It is a life changing journey and one that I highly recommend to all followers of Christ.

When we were in the Church of the Resurrection in the Old City of Jerusalem I was aware of the cacophony of voices all around us. I heard countless languages from all parts of the world. There were Christians from Swaziland, Syria, Greece, Romania, Ethiopia, and many Europeans. The dress and customs were wildly different. Some cultures seem to find it perfectly acceptable to push and shove and speak loudly in sacred spaces. What a perfect image as we approach Pentecost Sunday.

I am aware of how fortunate I am to come back to a church that embraces multiple cultures and languages. How beautiful it is that I get to worship with a parish that celebrates difference and makes space for all voices to be heard. Father Thomas and Reverend Ada have blessed us with the gift of parishioners from China. It is hard to imagine the challenges that our brothers and sisters from such a different culture face in this gigantic move. Father Thomas extends such a warm and supportive hand to our new neighbors. Maybe we could find new ways to do good works of welcome too. As it says in this Sundays Gospel: "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do." What might that look like? How could the English speaking parishioners act like Jesus towards our Chinese speaking friends?

It is a blessing to return to such a loving and generous place as Church of Our Saviour. I feel and see God's presence here in all sorts of wonderful and sacred ways - right here.