It’s a cool, overcast spring day here in Seattle with a little light rain, a welcome change after last week’s hot dry weather. Last week we planted 38 tomato plants around the house. Most went into our tomato enclosure, built specifically to keep them safe from marauding dogs. (We now have three in our community). However several more snuck into pots. I just couldn’t stop planting. One of the problems with starting from seed is that I always end up with more plants than we know what to do with. This year I have several tumbler tomatoes, specifically designed for hanging baskets. The challenge will be keeping them well watered but I always love the challenge of trying something new.
This year is shaping up to be a time of reconnection, celebration and rich hospitality with friends and family, something that both Tom and I enjoy. For that reason, in my Meditation Monday: Radical Hospitality In Psalm 23. I revisit the Biblical concept of hospitality, and will continue to do so over the next couple of months. As I said in yesterday’s post: “There is no better place to learn to listen, not to the answers in our own heads but to the unsettling questions others ask, than when sitting around the table sharing a meal.” Hospitality is a recurring theme for us on Godspace and I love the enriching posts that continue to be contributed. Many of them stretch my understanding of the wonder of God’s rich hospitality and broaden my perspectives of of what it means to be hospitable. I hope you will check out our many resources on hospitality and allow your own perceptions to be enlarged.
This last week, Lilly Lewin’s post on Ascension Day has some beautiful images and reflection on blessing. Barbie Perks reflects on the spirituality of potholes in her post Cleaning the Gutters. Make sure you watch the very entertaining video on Pothole Golf at the end. June Friesen’s post International Day of Families is also a must read.
For those that wonder where we find all these international and national celebrations that we intersperse with events on the liturgical calendar, check out International Celebration dates, or this National Days of Observance for the U.S.. I must confess I got quite distracted a few days ago looking through this list. Then I found another list for the UK and another for Australia. I had to chuckle over 2 very important observances on the Australian calendar – the Adelaide cup and the Melbourne cup – horse races that are local holidays. Fun and gambling – two favourite Australian pastimes. For New Zealand check out this list, for South Africa and for Canada. Looks as though we all have lots to celebrate. Apologies if I left your country out.
Sunday, May 28th, we celebrate Pentecost, one celebration that always challenges me to be creative. I love the idea of a Tongues of Fire Chili Cookout and Pentecost Kites that I talk about in the post Let’s Get Creative for Pentecost. There are lots of other interesting posts and resources available through our resource page. Pentecost celebrates the birth of the church and the coming of the Holy Spirit filling Jesus’ disciples with the power to go out and change the world. We also celebrate the incredible diversity of the body of Christ, which we catch a glimpse of as the spirit falls and suddenly everyone is able to understand each other – not all speaking the same language but able to understand each other in their own languages. Acts 2:10-11. Pentecost is traditionally the time that many churches pray for the peace of our world in which at times there seems to be so little cross cultural understanding. Diane Woodrow’s post for World Cultural Diversity Day has a pentecostal flavour to it. As she says: We’re not going to have to conform to a “holy homogeneous huddle” but will be able to enjoy our different hues, words, styles, etc in heaven.
The following Sunday is Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate the triune nature of God. This theme was particularly important for Celtic Christians who embraced the Trinity as a family, and each human family unit (be it family, clan or tribe) was seen as an icon of the Trinity. Many of the Celtic prayers reflect this trinitarian nature.
Last year you may remember, I walked around my garden photographing all the red flowers, to give me an extra boost of pentecostal fire. I then looked for tripartite flowers and leaves as symbols of the Trinity. I documented this in last year’s post Celebrating the Trinity Using Flowers.
Let me end with this prayer written as I contemplated the Holy Spirit breathed into us by Jesus (Jn 20:22)
Spirit of God may we breathe in and hold your love within us
May we breathe out and share it with the world
Spirit of God may we breathe in and hold your peace within us
May we breathe out and share it with the world
Spirit of God may we breathe in and hold your life within us
May we breathe out and share it with the world.
These are our Pentecost and Ordinary Time resources – a selection of writings, prayers, ideas, practices and liturgies for celebrating Pentecost and beyond.