Summer brings us so many opportunities to celebrate.  There are graduations, concerts, Father’s Day, the 4th of July, family reunions, weddings, anniversaries, and for us at Trinity the Salmon Barbeque coming up on Sunday, August 21st.  There is also the day that we celebrate as the Birthday of the Church or Pentecost.  This year Pentecost is June 12th.  On that day we will remember the gift of the Holy Spirit, given by God to breathe life and hope into the hearts of the followers of Jesus.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus himself breathes on the disciples after greeting them with the words, “Peace be with you.”  We greet each other on Sunday morning with handshakes, hugs, and words like, “The peace of the Lord be with you.”  We are happy to see each other and sometimes we visit a bit before we move on to the next person.  We breathe life and hope into each other in our greetings.  We name Jesus Christ as the one who calls us to faith.  We share the joy that we have been given with those we know and with those whom we are meeting for the first time.
We, like all disciples of Jesus, take the peace of our Lord with us when we go home.  We take the peace of our Lord to soccer and softball games, to the grocery store and the mall, to public events and when we visit our family and friends in private homes.  We usually do not greet people with the “peace of the Lord” like we do in church, but God’s peace is with us and becomes part of who we are.  Our responses to those in need, our acceptance and appreciation for those who are different from us, our willingness to listen when someone has a story that they need to share—these are some of the ways God’s peace becomes real in our world.
We are people of the peace of God.  This is what it means to follow Jesus.  We love as we have been loved.  We give as we have been given to.  We are blessed by our faithful God, in order to be blessings to others.  We are carriers of peace and hope into every place we go.  This summer I hope you will worship frequently—here at Trinity when you are in town or in a church or worshiping community wherever your travels take you.  When we gather to worship we are filled with the Spirit of God—this weekly renewal blesses us and it blesses those with whom we are worshiping.  God’s love made real by real people!
On this Pentecost, we can choose to wear the color red, as a reminder of the flames seen on the heads of the disciples in Jerusalem on that first Pentecost Day.  We will sing, “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 people of God.”*
Blessings as you catch the Spirit and pass the peace on,
Pastor Jocelyn
* Send Down the Fire, words and music by Marty Haugen copyright 1989, used by OneLicense.Net #A-706877.