May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
I've been thinking a lot this week about breath, probably because I've been working a couple of weeks ahead on our Pentecost service (May 23). This year, as well as the usual Pentecost story about the Holy Spirit coming to the early disciples like dancing flames and a rush of mighty wind (Acts 2), we are also going to be reading the story of Ezekiel and the Valley of the Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14). God tells Ezekiel to prophesy, and when he does, the bones are knit together; but it is only when the breath of God came into the bones that they came to life. This makes me think back to the story in Genesis 2 when God makes the first human out of dust, then brings them to life by breathing the breath into them.
We are dust or dry bones, given life by the breath of God.
There is just a single word in Greek (pneuma) and Hebrew (ruach), the languages of the bible, that means both breath and Spirit and wind.
When we begin to pray, we invite the Holy Spirit (pneuma/ruach) to move in our breath (pnemua/ruach) and our prayers.
The world, for the past 14 months, has been at the mercy of a virus that steals our breath right from our lungs.
At Easter, we remembered that even when God's Word had the breath squeezed out of him and the Word was silenced, God's Breath continued to dance and death was overturned, and the Word was resurrected bringing new life and abundance of life.
And at Pentecost, again we celebrate the Breath of God, bringing new life and abundance of life into every corner of the world!
What will you do, with your flesh and bones that have been given life by the breath of God?
In terms of announcements, I have a couple to pass along today.
I am going to be on Study Leave for a week, beginning on Sunday (May 16-22), in order to attend a preaching festival being held online. This means that next week, there will be no mid-week e-mail message, no bible study, and no 1pm check-ins on Facebook. All of this will resume the week of the 23rd.
Worship - this Sunday (May 16), Kathy Roy will be offering pulpit supply. Our services will be at Long Reach at 9:15 and Westfield at 11:15 with livestreaming of the Westfield service on Facebook.
Worship - the following Sunday (May 23) is Pentecost), when we get to celebrate the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. I invite you to wear flame colours (e.g. red, orange, yellow) since one of the images we will be reading is of dancing flames! Our worship on the 23rd will be at Summerville (9:15), Westfield (11:15), and Facebook Live (11:15).
Church in the World Book Study - our discussion gathering is drawing closer! You still have a couple of weeks to read Tangles (Sarah Leavitt), and we will gather on Sunday May 30 at 7pm in the River Room at Long Reach United Church for a discussion. There are a couple of copies circulating in each congregation that you are welcome to borrow.
Broadview Magazine discussion - my June issue of Broadview was in my mailbox yesterday and we will be gathering on the first Monday in June (June 7) to discuss this issue - 10-11:30 in the Westfield Parlour. (If this month's discussion is even half as engaging as our last discussion, it will be worth attending!)
Finally - especially for peninsula folks - this Friday is Joyce Newstead's 90th birthday! (You may have seen the announcement in today's paper.) There is going to be a birthday car parade past her house on Friday afternoon. Cars will gather at the end of the Pipertown Road (by 1833 Rte 845), departing at 2:30 for a drive-past. Joyce will be out on her deck, and family members will be at the end of her driveway to collect any cards.
And I think that is it for today! See you on the 23rd!
Blessings to you and yours, today and always,
Rev. Kate Jones Two Rivers Pastoral Charge (506) 757-2201 (office) (506) 343-1307 (mobile) www.tworiverspastoralcharge.com Pronouns: she/her/hers "Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?"
Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "You must love your neighbour as you love yourself."