This weekend in worship, we will celebrate the Day of Pentecost, a major festival Sunday in the church year. Frequently celebrated as the birthday of the church, Pentecost recalls the gift of the Holy Spirit given to the first disciples, who, empowered by tongues of fire and guided by the rush of violent wind, began to speak in foreign tongues allowing the gospel message beyond Judaea.
A story; perhaps a parable.
Mike had been thinking about a thick, juicy steak at his favorite steak house ever since he heard that the governor was allowing restaurants to open again after all this coronavirus nonsense. Rib-eye. Medium rare. Onions, no mushrooms. Who made the governor God anyway? It was his right – his God-given right - to eat wherever and whenever he desired. He was unafraid of getting a bug, even if it really existed. If others were worried, that was their problem.
Right now, there is a lot of discussion about “reopening” the economy. The nation, states, counties, and cities are wondering what should and what should not be safe, vital, necessary. The discussion is important. There is also lots of talk about “reopening” the church. If I may parrot Bishop Michael Burk a bit, the church has never closed in this time.
Over and over, during Jesus’ public ministry, ministry happens and community is built around the breaking of bread. From the Wedding at Cana to the Feeding of the 5000 and, of course, the Last Supper, one thing seems abundantly clear: when Jesus wanted to convey a particularly important or meaningful lesson, it was often done surrounded by food and in the context of sharing a meal. In fact, after the resurrection, one of the most notable “aha!” moments, in which the disciples recognized the Risen Lord, occurs when Jesus breaks bread at the table.