This Sunday we will be celebrating! We will be celebrating the joy of inviting fifth graders into our Youth Ministry program. We will be celebrating our high school seniors as they graduate. We will be celebrating the mystery and the wonder of Pentecost. We will be celebrating the birth and the continual rebirth of the church. Mixed in with that celebration will be a few tears. After all, beginning something new means that things are changing and that we are changing. There is a moment of mourning as we say goodbye to what was to embrace what is next.
On Sunday, I will need your help. During the Children’s Moment we will pray for our students in this moment of celebration. I wonder what words of blessing and wisdom you would offer for each one of them. Do we pray for safety? For wisdom? For courage? For joy? For health? For acceptance? For all of the above? What do you think our fifth graders will need as they begin middle school and become members of our Youth Ministry? What do you think our seniors need as they graduate? How can we, as a church, continue to be a place that encourages and nurtures them even as they charge into this next leg of life? What do you think our fifth and 12th graders can teach us as they prepare to begin something new?
Pentecost is the ultimate reminder that God did not create the church to be stagnant. The raucous movement of the Spirit on that first Pentecost shows us that God created the church to be alive, out in the world, facing new challenges, delighting in new opportunities, speaking new words, and sharing the Good News in new ways. In other words, don’t get too comfortable!
As we celebrate with our fifth and 12th graders, we also are celebrating that God calls each of us into something new. In this moment of celebration, whether we are ready or not, the Spirit will be moving among us, encouraging and leading us to what is next. How appropriate that just as the final chords of worship fade, we will have the opportunity to listen to Trudy Rubin and consider the world we have been called to serve.