e diel, 27 maj 2007

Pentecost in the UMC and Virtual Church

Acts 2:1-4
"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled."

So today was Pentecost Sunday and I was very pleased with how our United Methodist Church Pastors preached, presented and applied the story of Pentecost to the church today. I am So very thankful for my pastors/preachers/teachers at this UMC. In the past, I remember thinking that Pentecost Sunday had always seemed somewhat neglected or perhaps avoided in the UMC. Here, I will try to share what I have learned.

The season of Easter for us has ended. Now--Let us

Rewind to Jesus' time-- the disciples + (>100 people including women) waited- waited-prayed-probably prayed some more and more and wondered-what's next-They had already been through supernatural life changing experiences what could be next- Jesus had risen from the dead already-then---- sssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhswooooooooooshhhh the sound of a mighty rushing wind and The Spirit of the Living God gave the people a New way to communicate the Gospel. New words- a new language that a new group and a new generation of people could understand. Around Three Thousand came to Christ because of this.

Today, the pastor asked us to picture a crowded room, all people in it praying expectantly aloud and at once- this is the image of Pentecost. In the little UMC, we were asked to Pray out loud and all at once, the Prayer list on the back of the bulletin. I really found it interesting --how "uncomfortable" the air was in there- not really for me- but a little, yes. Some but not all people were softly and quietly mumbling prayer concerns and finished PROMPTLY- long before the entire list could have been verbalized out loud to God--Long before what the Holy Spirit was giving me to pray about each person on the list could have been prayed and long before those extra people or concerns brought to my memory by the Holy spirit while praying the list could have been said.

I'm still processing what that means but what I know we have to open ourselves up to is the reality that this same Spirit of God is trying to break through in our lives Today. We can't worry about what "people may think" about the noise. We also have to be open to what new way the Holy Spirit may be trying to provide us as a tool for reaching a new generation with the same Gospel of Jesus Christ's unconditional love and reconciliation.

At this point, in my processing the teachings, Fast forward with me- to the virtual Second Life.

Have you heard of it? It is a whole new world for a whole new generation. It's really not for me-- but when I heard about it, I had to check it out. You create a new you- a new identity- you are born for the first time, in your second life and there, you have to learn to walk, speak, drive...know Jesus? This is your second (virtual) life. It seems to be a happening and growing place for the new generation.

IN the second life- many churches have already been formed and built...It is a whole NEW WORLD and a new generation could begin to know Christ there! In this world, they have actual Bible studies, worship services, counseling etc. You can email the Friar at the monastery if he is "not on duty" or watch "church slide presentations" on a big screen of what appears to be their real time (non-virtual) worship, mission trips etc- That is- if this "Baptist" church is not currently holding a Bible study or a service.

Just FYI-so far- there is not a United Methodist Church.

I will post some snapshots of me, in a few second life spiritual locations.

1 koment:

Jan tha...

That's why I left the UMC and returned to the Episcopal Church.