the view from the pew 5-15-16

Well, back to church worship on Sunday, the way it ought to be. Bright sunshine, moderate temperatures, and a church that smells all musty and Lutherany, you know like a mix between your father’s ancient herringbone overcoat and your grandmother’s hush!’. Today (5-15-16) is English service at the Latvian church. Macitajs (teacher, pastor) has Susan reading Scripture and Aleksandrs reading the prayer. Today is Pentecost, the Church of Christ’s birthday, 50 days after His Resurrection, so today’s sermon focuses on Acts 2, the day the Holy Ghost takes over for Jesus while He is building mansions for you and for me. In the middle of the square the wind (breath of life) blows and fills the disciples with the knowledge and love of Jesus. From that moment they are given the ability to speak in the tongues of those from other countries living in Jerusalem. They are told the wonderful words and deeds of The Lord. Acts 2:13 reads,

But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine”.

Sometimes there’s just no pleasing some people. To be fair to these souls, there was a belief in that time that some persons who had a lot to drink could summon spirits to speak through them. I suppose it’s not unlike the modern day old-time reference to shamans (medicine men) of some Indian tribes of North America and Asia. They were known for ingesting roots and mushrooms with psychedelic properties and going into trances, ‘singing to the gods ’or dancing about until they either came upon a revelation, pleased the spirits for a patient’s cure or received guidance for the tribe. Jim Morrison, singer/crooner, for The Doors was a believer in this spiritual archetype, at least to the point where recreational drugs were involved. The Lizard King frequently danced on stage and uttered poetic verse as though a conduit for tribal healers lashed to a karmic wheel floating in time (and we know how silly that can be) while under the influence of peyote and LSD.

Anyway, you can show some people the works of God and, like me, not recognize it at the time. Only when I look back and see how something came to be, it usually ends with a ‘derp’ moment on my part. Others can be shown the same facts, figures, unlikelihoods and results but, like those who denounced the disciples as drunk, will blame it on a trick of the light, a plot of deception or a well-played prank or shenanigan. Some will reject it outright, others see them but hope they go away so they don’t have to deal with them, while others will demand a sign or a wonder to convince them. That person will need to learn patience. God works best on people between heartbeats, that moment when life goes unnoticed.

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