Spread Like Wildfire: Pentecost, May 28,2023

Feel the heat of the fire,
and the breath of the wind.
Listen to the wind,
it whispers,
it cools with its soft breath.
Or it roars,so loud that
it sounds like a speeding train
rushing over the house
that shakes with fear.
We hide in the closets
hoping the ravages
of the hurricane
pass us by.
Sit before the fire
on a winter’s night
or on a star filled
summer night-warmth and beauty.
Or know fire in the drought
of a Florida winter,when
it catches hold fast.
We create controlled burns
to clear debris and prevent the
spread of destruction by fire.
Yet, when it catches hold anyway,
back away, away
and watch it ignite
all the trees and brush,
homes and creatures
as it rushes through the night.

Ah, the power of wind and fire.
Ah, the power of our God
Whose Holy Spirit moves across
the face of the earth
and within us
to renew the world.

Breath of God who
gives us breath,
and life after death,
Breath your Spirit
on us again as Jesus
did on the disciples of old,
and make
us new.

Rest on us
Spirit of the Living God,
Powerfully clear away the
self-filled, self righteous
greed and entitlement
that starves the rest of the world,
that wars with those we deem enemies,
who are your children and creatures
after all.

Create in us a new spirit,
of love, of justice,
of sacrifice when need be,
of passion for your renewed
creation,every bit of it.

Give us the languages to
speak your word of Love,
in love, with love
in their mother tongues
to everyone, everywhere,
and not to rest until the word
and the love is spoken in
the most hidden corners
of lives and places.

Come Holy Spirit,
fill our hearts and
lives, kindle them
with the fire of your
love and send us forth.

Then it will be Pentecost

Amen, Amen.
By Pastor Judy Lee

I love the picture below of Rev. Judith MCKloskey, RCWP, of St. Louis,Kansas City,Mo. filled with the Spirit and praising God on Pentecost with the Good Shepherd Community a few years back. (Pastor Marina Sanchez and Deacon Hank Tessandori also in the picture).


I have put today’s lesson in a poem but do grasp this power for yourself.

You may want to read for yourselves the readings of this day
that has the power to renew us and the face of the world, if only we let it.
Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104;I Corinthians 12:3b-7 and 12-13; or Galatians 5:16-25; and the Gospel John 20-19-23.
Know that the feast of Pentecost is fifty days after Passover (and our Easter).
The feast, called Shavuot, calls the Jewish people together in an obligation to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest given back to God, and the giving of the Law, the Torah, and the covenant of God with God’s people. That’s why there were so many gathered in one place in Jerusalem when God’s Spirit suddenly entered to renew.
Start with Acts 2:1-11 and for this try your NAB, NKJV, or RSV, NIV, TIB, or other versions and The Message//Remix-The Bible in Contemporary Language-Eugene Peterson who writes: “When the Feast of Pentecost came,they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind,gale force–no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, alike a wild fire,the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks,and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them”.
then ponder: Psalm 104’s “Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth. Then consider the variety of gifts and yet the unity of the Spirit of God in us individually and as one church with its cleansing and empowering power. And finally consider Jesus breathing new life into the disciples as he breathed on them and said ” Receive the Holy Spirit…”

Now let us receive God’s Holy Spirit as individuals and as church , community, and let us go forth and with the Spirit, renew the face of the earth. Let us overcome violence, let us reach the discontent and disconsolate with love, let us have the courage to take unpopular stands- on gun control, on unfair practices in the agriculture industry that keep the poorest among us poor. Look at this past week, look around you in your worlds and ask: where is the renewing Spirit of God needed this week and where can I carry it. When we are filled with the fire and wind of God’s Spirit we are impelled to act.

Send forth your Spirit Oh, God and renew the face of the earth, and start with me.
Pastor Judy
Rev. Dr. Judith Lee, RCWP
Good Shepherd Ministry Fort Myers, Florida (Revised 5/27/23)



(*For support of the migrant and other farm workers, you might send support to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Immokalee, Florida, for example).

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