(An important piece of information about this weekend’s worship is hidden near the bottom of this article! You’ll want to find it—or you will miss out on something important!)
One of the things you might not know about me was that I started the chaplaincy program in our local Fire District 5 shortly after I arrived at Chapel Hill. I went through the volunteer training and even travelled to North Bend for “Burn to Learn” where you get to work with hoses and put out actual fires inside buildings. It was—honestly—a lot of fun. I got all the “bunker gear” including a blue helmet that set me apart as the chaplain.
So, I was trained to work the fires—but that wasn’t my job. I was there to help with the human side of tragedy. BUT—when the call went out for an actual fire (something that was pretty rare back then)—I hightailed it to the site, eager to get my hands on a charged line (a hose filled with water) before one of the REAL firefighters showed up and kicked me off. I have to admit that the arrival of a real fire, flames and all, was a time of excitement and anticipation.
This weekend we celebrate the arrival of “fire” on the church; Pentecost! The coming of the Holy Spirit complete with tongues of fire dancing on the heads of every worshiper. With this Spirit came the gifts and the power that would enable the church to spread the gospel of Jesus throughout the whole world. We believe that same Holy Spirit is alive and well. And to help remind us of that “fire” moment, we ask everyone to come dressed in red!
Listen, every believer needs a fresh dose of the Spirit. You do, too! When you have Presbyterians that take the Holy Spirit seriously, that is a powerful combination!
By the way, we are mixing things up in our modern services. The sermon will be near the beginning of the service. If you are late, you will miss it. So, don’t be late!