News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
Today is Pentecost. It’s the remembrance of the day in which the early Church grew exponentially. New people heard a living word in the testimony of the Apostle Peter who got up and preached to a large crowd gathered from around the known world for a festival in Jerusalem. We’re told that folks heard this message in their own language – breaking through their diverse contexts, histories, and journeys, to unite them in a common shared hope of life in the Way of Jesus. Only God’s living, invigorating presence among the people could have made possible such a transformational moment. Such unity embodied hopeful justice, and a new beginning.
The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel, lived in the 6th century BCE. His era ended with the invasion of Israel by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia’s armies in 598 BCE. Before this invasion Ezekiel seemed to see what was coming – either by a revelation from God and/or observation of the corruption and immorality of his own society. He was eventually banished from his own country by the king as that was the only way to stop Ezekiel from talking about the impending destruction of Jerusalem, and the restoration to the land of Israel. Today we read of an ecstatic vision that the prophet had seeing the grisly remains of a massive battle or genocidal event. Standing in a mass unmarked grave, enveloped by death he has a vision of hopeful justice, transformation, & a new beginning.
We’ve been talking about legacy – which can be both what you leave behind to your heirs (the inheritance or gift) and the bad stuff that passes on from generation to generation (the effect, the outcome, the awful consequence of a personal or family way of being in the world).”
We are in a time of great change in the ending of shelter-at-home orders and are able to re-open our society due to the COVID vaccine. This week also marks the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd (May 25) which unleashed a fiercely expanded global civic conversation about who is considered a equal human being and who isn’t in the way that our institutions and we as people related to each other. Like Ezekiel and the early Church we too wonder what hopeful justice, transformation and new beginnings will look like for us.
As the church in the 21st century we also face great challenges and change. “Church” isn’t on the top of people’s minds when they think of using their time & building relationships. Is that because it’s outdated, irrelevant, corrupt, or because society and culture have moved on? How are we called Pentecost-new beginning?
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