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Under the Influence


Happy Pentecost Sunday!

red and orange fire

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This is Pentecost Sunday.
It is the day Christian churches around the world
celebrate the tongues of fire that landed on the heads
of the people gathered in the temple.
The tongues of fire represent the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit allowed the people from
about eight different language regions
to hear in their own native languages
the disciples’ message –
– the Word of God.

The story of the coming of the Holy Spirit
is told in Acts 2: 1-21.
I read that scripture passage aloud
in our church service this morning.

woman reading a book

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Then Rev. Jean Johnson
of our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana
preached a sermon on that topic.
These are the poetic notes I took as I listened to her message:

“Under the Influence”

The disciples were filled
With New Wine – the Word –
It’s known as Pentecost Sunday.
People thought they were absurd.

Sometimes we, too, become
Intoxicated with New Wine –
Drunk on self-importance,
Inebriated on everything fine.

Possessions, new cars,
Perfectionism, being right;
Approval, needing it from others;
Knowledge, seen as being bright.

We’ve all been intoxicated
By hobbies – like fishing.
What are you drunk on?
For what are you wishing?

birthday bow box card

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My drink of choice is
Writing and staying in touch.
But that liquid isn’t everlasting;
It doesn’t fill me up very much.

I know for certain I need
To be under the influence
Of those gifts from God that
Help me live in love and prudence.

I am asked to drink
A New Wine that fills
My heart with God’s grace.
The thought of it brings chills.

God’s Day of “Sober Drunkenness”
Is a day filled with paradox.
It’s a day to set aside
The drinks that wind our clocks!

It’s a day to open up
The bottle of forgiveness.
Drink deeply of God’s Power.
It is intoxicating Goodness.

Let His potion sweep you
Off your feet to see
Your Pentecostal Moment.
Feel the Spirit; drink with glee.

Under the influence
Of God’s transforming love,
Let His New Wine fill you
With His Holy Spirit from above.

Pentecost brings us sobriety and inebriation.
Where are your moments of “Sober Drunkenness”?

Do you feel the Holy Spirit’s presence in you?
Let the tongues of fire land on your head
and fill you with God’s Love!

Happy Day of Pentecost!

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Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Do leave me a message telling me about your
“Drink of Choice” on this Pentecostal Sunday.
What fills YOUR cup?

See you tomorrow.

Pentecost Sunday


If I were creating human beings as God did in the beginning of time, I’d add a part that I think God forgot to include. He put a belly button on our abdomen, but I’d have a button on each person’s chest. The button would be like Siri on my new iPhone. Press it and “Presto!” I could ask my brain to speak in whatever language I needed at the moment. I could ask it to translate what I am hearing. I could ask it questions and the button would activate a response! Isn’t that what God did for the people in the temple on that first Pentecost Sunday around AD70? With the help of the Holy Spirit, the people spoke in languages previously unknown to them.

This coming Sunday, May 27,2012, is known on the Christian calendar as Pentecost Sunday. Catholics and Protestants alike celebrate this Holy Day.  On the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox calendars, the date for Pentecost Sunday is June 3rd. Historically it is the day the Holy Spirit descended with tongues of fire on the apostles and other followers of Jesus. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the “Birthday of the Church.”  Red is the ceremonial color of Pentecost, depicting the color of the flame – and the movement of the Holy Spirit. The ways in which churches celebrate this event in its liturgical calendar are as rich and varied as the churches are themselves. Red flowers might adorn the alters, symbolizing the renewal of life, the coming of the warmth of summer, and the growth of the church at and from the first Pentecost. Music that is especially composed for Pentecost often is performed on this special day. I will sing with a small group of friends. Our song is an example of a Pentecostal message. The words are beautiful:

(Refrain) Send down the fire of your justice,
Send down the rains of your love;
Come send down the Spirit, breathe life in your people,
and we shall be the people of God.

(Verse One) Call us to be your compassion,
Teach us the song of your love;
Give us hearts that sing,
Give us deeds that ring,
Make us ring with the song of your love.

(Verse Two) Call us to learn of your mercy,
Teach us the way of your peace;
Give us hearts that feel,
Give us hands that heal,
Make us walk in the way of your peace.

There are two other verses, each as beautiful as these. If you Google “Send Down the Fire,” you will discover other songs with that title, but the one with these words that I appreciated most is found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wai-9zpmXQY.  The students are listed as LOMC Swing Choir Tour — 2009. Their motions add to the meaning of the lyrics. I have asked what LOMC stands for and am awaiting an answer. Meantime, I encourage you to go and celebrate this Pentecost Sunday with the true meaning of the day. Join these YouTube singers with “hearts that sing” and “hearts that feel.” Move into the world with “deeds that ring” and “hands that heal” as  you walk in the way of Christ’s peace. Be His compassion!

You may not have a Siri button built into your chest. You may not be able to speak in tongues and be understood in all kinds of languages, but you have a love button built into your chest. It was planted there by the Holy Spirit. Go out this Pentecost Sunday and use your love to teach others of God’s mercy and His desire for us  to live together as one people throughout the world – working for peace on earth.

I am only one person and I can’t do everything, but I am one who can make a difference to one. Maybe the one will be you. Happy Pentecost Sunday. Use your love button! God Bless You.

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