Pentecost calls us to share good news in new ways
June 1, 2007

Was Pentecost just something that happened 2,000 years ago? Is it just a theological way of talking about the presence of the Spirit in the earliest church? What does it mean for us today?

This church has a mission, or, as someone has more accurately put it, God's mission has a church, and that mission means we are to speak and do good news with all sorts and conditions of people. We live in a nation that at times seems consumed by worries about "the other." Recently, that "other" has included our neighbors to the south, who speak Spanish and who increasingly come here seeking a just and living wage. That "other" also has included people of other religious traditions, particularly those who practice Islam. Where might the Spirit be moving among us today?

Pentecost would seem to say most clearly that God as Holy Spirit prompts witness in a variety of languages and to a variety of people. I recently returned from a visit to the Diocese of Honduras, where I witnessed abundant good news being shared in Spanish, English and a local Mayan language. But far beyond language, I witnessed good news in the form of basic human dignity and the love of God for people in every station of life -- those who are HIV-positive, hungry, living in isolation or squalor, as well as middle-class urbanites. God loves all, and Christians have an essential call to respond where the world speaks bad news.

The Episcopal Church lives, works and worships in neighborhoods that are immensely varied -- not only in the United States, with its amazing diversity, but also in Taiwan, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands (British and U.S.), Guam, Micronesia, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. We are engaged in speaking good news to and with people who live in slums, on the streets and in suburbia, inner cities, reservations, military bases, prisons and places of immense wealth.

We are learning how to communicate good news to new generations and through new modalities. In all we do, we seek to proclaim the good news that God loves us immensely -- beyond our imagining -- and that God's presence in Jesus continues to be evident in the world, particularly through the ministry of all the members of this church.

This season at Pentecost, I would encourage you to discover one new place where good news is being proclaimed and one place where you have the ability to share good news in a new way.