Sunday, June 7, 2009

Holy Spirit at the Bat (Pentecost)

EZEKIEL 37:1-14; PSALM 104:24-34, 35B; ACTS 2:1-21; JOHN 15:26-27, 16:4B-15


The valley was deep and wide in front of Ezekiel that day:
The bones lay bare and dry; he knew not what to say.
And then the Lord questioned, and Ezekiel did reply,
“Mortal, can these bones live?” “Lord, you know better than I”.

Ezekiel drew in his breath and made his voice heard well
“Oh, dry, dry bones. Dry, quiet bones, hear what I do tell
Knees and elbows, thighs and hips- all a skeleton has to give-
Hear this word from your Lord, receive sinews and flesh and live.”

Before his eyes, the bones did rise and stand upon the ground-
Bone met bone, from head to toe, with a fierce rattling sound.
There were bodies standing with ears open, waiting to hear
The word the Lord wanted sent forth about his presence, near.

Ezekiel called forth the wind, as he had been told to do,
The standing bodies inhaled and breathed with life anew;
They were a sign for Israel of what the Lord had done.
The bodies showed that in the end, always, the Lord has won.

How did those bones together come and how were they alive?
God’s Spirit works in strange, new ways and causes all to thrive.
The same Spirit moved on Peter, who was the church’s rock.
Reborn, on fire, the disciples seemed drunk at nine o’clock.

Jerusalem gathered for Pentecost celebration.
Annually, they recalled God’s own gifts unto their nation.
Jesus’ followers were together, waiting on God’s word.
Then tongues of flame descended and, oh!, the noise that was heard.

Each person began to speak in a language not his own.
The Spirit’s power gave them ability, voice, strength, words and tone.
The crowd was surprised, hearing their languages spoken.
To simple Galileans, this gift from God was no mere token.

Then Peter stood, began to preach and the Spirit supplied the words:
As Ezekiel to dry bones, here too God’s power was heard.
Prophetic children, young men with visions and old men with dreams,
Spirit outpouring, all the world knows comes apart at the seams.

And what now does this matter, this strange, spiritual power?
Breathing on bones, at Pentecost and here in this hour?
Oh, why and how does this Holy Breath move within the world unbidden?
Its gifts are so public, so out there, and so unhidden.

The Lord God revealed unto Ezekiel the Spirit’s end goal.
Jesus told the disciples earthly life can and does take its toll.
The Advocate is for comfort, guidance and intercession.
If God seems hands off, that’s absolutely the wrong impression.

The Holy Spirit re-wets us. It baptizes and reforms our flesh-
So God’s will for creation and our understanding might mesh.
The dry bones received holy breath so they would know God anew.
Peter said to those listening, “This work is done for you.”

On this day, here in this church, we are called to recognize
The work of the Spirit is ongoing, right in front of our eyes.
Not just dry bones nor drunk with new wine, we do have more to give.
The Spirit among us, drives and compels you and me to live.

The Spirit gives us power now to hear the Truth, walk the Way, see the Lord.
Here we have so many gifts. There is so much need. How could we be bored?
So get up from your seats, share this news through song, speech and shout:
There is great joy in Anchorage- the Holy Spirit is let out!

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