Streamers and Lights

Whenever we have a birthday in our house, we decorate a little by putting up balloons and streamers to make the occasion festive. That usually means waiting till the person goes to bed, or waking up early the next morning and making sure the dining room has been draped to mark the occasion. There was a time when that happened seven times a year. That has slowly diminished to three or four times a year. We don’t decorate the house for children who have left the nest and begun homes on their own and I quietly wonder if they’ll carry the same tradition in their own homes. Two weeks ago Mountainview celebrated Pentecost Sunday welcoming a dozen new members into the congregation.  Sometimes referred to as the birthday of the Christian Church, Pentecost is a story that includes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit through sounds of rushing wind and tongues of fire. It’s the celebration of having received God’s word, along with the joys of spring and first fruits. I imagined tongues of fire to be orange and yellow, red and perhaps even light blue. I went to the party store and picked out seven shades of fire and wondered how they could be strung up in a way that reflects the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In a staff meeting someone suggested we hang some lights in the front hall, and the youth room already has creative strands hanging on their ceiling. When sharing my idea with someone from the worship team, they said they had a strand of outdoor lights at home. The strand has twenty-four bulbs on it, and my mind went to the book of Revelation, which talks about the New Jerusalem having twelve gates for the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve foundations have the names of the twelve apostles on them. The colorful streamers represent the tongues of fire at Pentecost, susceptible to the blowing winds, of the air conditioner, and the mystery of the Holy Spirit. As well as celebrating Pentecost, Mountainview is also celebrating her 55th year of existence, as this body of Christ began on May 29th, 1962, (which just happens to be the birthday of our Ministry Coordinator). Hence the making of a new photo directory, allowing new members as well as charter members to become more familiar with one another and the church that Jesus wants us to be. During the summer weeks of July and August Pastor Fred and I will continue to preach through the book of Acts, celebrating the gift of Pentecost and the movement of the Holy Spirit. Lights and streamers just help us mark the festive occasion with a little more focus and joy.