This past Sunday, we celebrated Pentecost, the day we commemorate Jesus giving the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church. We experienced the Spirit in an outside worship service, in the wind blowing through the trees, in the delightful surprise of the Presbyterian church carillon bells ringing across town, in the scripture accounts of wind and fire and Jesus promising not to leave his disciples alone, in a great group art project depicting the Spirit's action of bringing us all together to be Christ's church (thanks, Marty for pulling that together for us!) In the days since Sunday, I have pondered how the Spirit makes itself known in our lives, about the surprises it can bring and how it can take well-laid plans and blow them to bits when God has other ideas in mind for us. This morning, I stopped at the post office on my way to the office. As I walked across the parking lot toward my car, my cell phone began to ring in my purse. I thought of not answering it, since my hands were full of mail, but when I saw the name on the screen, I did a little juggling act and managed get the phone to my ear before it stopped ringing. It was an old friend, another pastor, whom I hadn't seen in many months. He had brought his vehicle into town for service and found himself with a little time to spare. "Would you like to join me for breakfast?" he asked. To be honest, I had a long list of tasks to accomplish this morning and had little time to spare. To my surprise, I found myself responding, "Sure, where should I meet you?" What followed was a delightful conversation, as my friend and I caught up on one another's lives, talked a little theology and made plans to stay in touch. As I got in my car to drive to the office, I realized that this unexpected time was exactly what I needed today. What got me to the diner this busy morning for an unplanned connection with a friend? I believe it was the Holy Spirit, who helped me remember to open myself to its presence and to follow its lead - especially when I would rather try to control its presence in my life. The Spirit can hit us with gale force winds or tickle us with the softest of breezes - either way a reminder of who is really in charge of our lives. Think of how you might open yourself to the Spirit's presence in your life this week. Allow it to surprise you, as it knocks you off your feet or just gives you a little breezy nudge.
The Oak Grove Pavilion summer season kicks off in a little over a week! On Sunday, June 3, Oak Grove welcomes our longtime friends, the Whitetop Mountain Band, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. You are invited to help with a morning clean-up of the Pavilion area on June 2 from 10:00 to noon.
Here is the rest of this summer's schedule (all concerts are on Sundays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm):
June 24 - Wag the Dog
July 8 - Waiting to Exhale
July 22 - Jam Sandwich
Aug. 5 - Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer
Aug. 19 - Rob Neukirch/Bill Adams and Nii Anang and Land of Joy
*If you would like to sponsor a band for one of the concerts, please speak to one of the Pavilion committee members: Rebbecca Jackson, Virginia Neukirch or Billy Motley.
The rustling of the olive trees speaks of the movement of the wind. The Greek work for spirit has the suggestion of breath or wind; the Hebrew word - Ruach - actually means the desert-wind, that powerful unseen force that sweeps across the face of the earth, none knows whence or whither. The wind - the Spirit - it bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest its voice, but thou knowest not whence it cometh and whither it goeth. But you can feel its breath on your face if, hearing it pass, you go out and stand in its course. So is everyone that is born of the Spirit. Don't ask for credentials. Don't wait till you know the source of the wind before you let it refresh you, or its destination before you spread sail to it. It offers what you need; trust yourself to it.
-William Temple 1881-1944