Catching Fire- A Poem for Pentecost

holy-spirit-pentecost-wind

We stayed locked behind closed doors
Safe from the rest of the world
Wondering what the future held
Would things ever be the way they were?
Should we just give up? Return home
And pretend like our worlds had not changed
Get on the with the business of our normal lives
Or do we dare to dream of God’s kingdom?

Our Lord came down to the water
And fished us out, calling us from our lives
To journeys we hadn’t imagined
The kingdom was near, the blind saw, the deaf heard
The demons were cast out and the religious were afraid
We had no wealth, no security, but we had him
This man who pulsated with the presence of the living God
Who dared to dream, speak and enact God’s kingdom

Our Lord took us outside the world we knew
To the other side of the lake, to Samaria, and into the city
He touched the unclean, welcomed the sinners
Ate with the tax collectors, and called us all to follow
Building this kingdom of outcasts and unholy into something divine
He opened our eyes, our ears and our hearts
Sometimes we heard, sometimes we were still deaf
Sometimes we trusted, sometimes we failed
But we relied on his faithfulness, his trust
His vision of the kingdom of God drawn near

His vision of the kingdom of love met the hatred
Of men who had lost their dreams, of rulers trapped by fear
So they hung him on a tree, cursed before the world
And laid him in a tomb, killing the dream
Scattering his followers to the four winds
As we ran away in our fear and disillusionment
Hiding away behind locked doors
Fasting where once we feasted
Mourning the loss of the kingdom of God incarnate

But the dream didn’t die
Love overcame hatred; the bars of death were shattered
And with this one, this Jesus, resurrection became reality
We saw him, touched him, ate with him, were taught by him
Yet still we didn’t understand how dead could be not dead
How to overcome the scandal of the crucifixion
How to move beyond our fears and beyond the walls
Our fear keeps the insiders in and the outsiders as strangers
As we argue, debate and question the future of God’s kingdom

We stayed locked behind closed doors
Safe from the rest of the world
Wondering what the future held
Would things ever be the way they were?
Should we just give up? Return home
And pretend like our worlds had not changed
Get on the with the business of our normal lives
Or do we dare to dream of God’s kingdom?

Light and life, wind and fire, tongues and messages
The same Spirit that drove Jesus into the wilderness
The same Spirit that went forth from him to heal the sick
Cast out the demons, open the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf
Comes down and casts us outside
No longer behind closed doors, no longer trapped in fear
No longer caught in the illusion of our own control
No longer fearing death or persecution
But caught up in the moment, catching fire
Not knowing what the future holds
But captured by the pulsating power of God’s presence
That we are not alone, that we go forth in love
Witnesses to the kingdom of God

Our problems are not gone, they are new
As we are cast out by the Spirit into God’s world
We meet the outsiders, the gentiles, the strangers
The sinners, the broken, the hurt and the healing
We see the way God’s kingdom is at work in them
And it changes us, it rekindles our own flames
Stoking the fire of the Spirit that breaks down the walls of our fear
Proclaiming the arrival of the kingdom of God

In an age of fear we are captured by the creating Spirit
In the face of hatred and prejudice we are called to love
In insecurity we bring a dream of a world renewed
Yet at times our own fires grow dim
We find ourselves locked behind our own doors
Trapped within our cathedrals
Fearing the outsiders, the strangers and even our neighbors
Then may that same Spirit that moved the frightened few
Into the marketplace, the workplace and to the ends of the earth
Open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to the work of God in our midst
Pushing us towards the kingdom of God

Neil White, 2013

In part this was sparked by David Lose’s video “it’s Pentecost” 

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

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