Here is the wisdom I found for this week leading up to Pentecost Sunday.
2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
2:2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
2:3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.
2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
2:5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.
2:6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.
2:7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
2:8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
2:9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
2:11 Cretans and Arabs–in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”
2:12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
2:13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.
2:15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.
2:16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
2:17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
2:18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
2:19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
2:20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
2:21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
All the articles, editorials, impassioned speeches, photographs and documentaries cannot touch that place within us where we know we are all one in the way that one authentic, mutually liberating relationship can. We deny the oneness of the human family at our own peril, at the risk of losing our own souls.
Descent Into Love is available here.
K. Killian Noe
Blessings to Go
“I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you.” – Acts 3:6
Like the apostle Peter, I have no cash or cachet. I have no sure-fire strategies for church growth or simple steps to inner peace. All I really have is the grace of knowing that I am beloved of God—and that is something I can give.
Because so many people have, like me, been alienated by a church of judgment and exclusion, I decided a few years ago to begin offering blessings—publicly, freely, joyfully. Not to save souls, not to talk about my church, but just to let others know that they are loved by God.
I stand with a sandwich sign that says “Blessings to Go” on one side and “Ask me for a blessing” on the other. And the amazing thing? People do ask. Turns out they like being called “beloved.” People like hearing that there’s nothing they have to do to earn God’s love—and nothing they could ever do to lose it.
I offer blessings regularly at our local Pride festival and in front of the local deli. I’ve offered blessings in every quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, at the White House and the Pentagon, hospital entrances and war memorials, subway stops and shopping malls. I’ve blessed Christians, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and a few self-professed pagans.
Yes, many people (including some members of my church) find this blessing business a little goofy, not to mention embarrassing. But, oh, the stories I can tell. And until you’ve seen a young man go from stoic to trembling to sobbing at the whisper of a tender word, until you’ve had total strangers entrust you with their deepest longings, until you’ve known the blessing of blessing others, don’t knock it.
What have you got to give away?
For all that we have, Good Giver, we offer our thanks. For all we can give, we ask your blessing. Amen.
just tiny stirrings
which disturb our even surface,
prodding us into new and different shapes…
claiming their place
on our horizons—
where we would not go—
yet we must.
Driven by life forces
deeper than our dreams,
we dare to rise
and grasp towards
the new young thing—
not yet born—
like a tight seed bursting
carrying within it
all the power
of a woman’s
From edwinagateley.com: Born in Lancaster, England, Edwina Gateley’s educational experiences have awarded her a Teacher’s Degree from England, a Masters in Theology from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and certification as an HIV counselor in the State of Illinois. From 1981 to 1982, Edwina lived for nine months in prayer and solitude in a hermitage in Illinois. In 1983, she spent over a year on the streets of Chicago, walking with the homeless and women involved in prostitution. Within these two experiences were the seeds of her ministry that would be realized in 1983 when she founded a house of hospitality and nurturing for women involved in prostitution. Numerous groups and individuals, including the Governor of the State of Illinois, the Mayor of Chicago, the late Cardinal Joseph Bernadin, and the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, have publicly commended Edwina’s work and ministry. Edwina is currently writing, leading retreats for abused and marginalized women, and serving as “Mother Spirit” for Exodus, a program in Chicago for women in the second phase of recovery from prostitution. Edwina continues to give talks and retreats internationally. She is available to speak of her faith journey, and her struggles to be faithful to her call to urban ministry and mission. She also speaks on Transformation, Justice, Mission, Women in the Scriptures, Mysticism, Prayer and Spirituality.