It is Pentecost Sunday, the day we remember Jesus’ Jewish followers gathered together in the midst of their current oppressors to celebrate the feast of Shav’u'ot, recalling, at the 50-day mark, their deliverance from past oppression in Egypt.
As Christians, we celebrate the giving of God’s Spirit, promised by Jesus, in a lavish display of wind and fire, 50 days after God raised Jesus to new life with us and within us.
In chapter 12 of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, proclaimed today in Christian churches, we hear:
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
In John’s gospel we hear Jesus say twice to the gathered disciples, Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.
The Spirit has reversed the division of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) and we are sent to regather God’s people.
As a CFCA sponsor, I have the priceless opportunity to begin to grasp the meaning of being “one body in Christ.”
My relationships over the years with sponsored children and aging have revealed how uniquely created we truly are, how limitless is God’s image, and how necessary each part of this body of humanity is for the healing of our world.
Sponsorship has illuminated the mystery of the Trinity: I have seen modeled by mothers and children and entire communities, by sponsors on MAT trips and in the faces of their sponsored children, the mutual giving and receiving, circular not linear, model of Trinitarian love.
As I watch my sponsored children grow into sponsored youth, and even graduate from CFCA sponsorship, I am privileged to be a part of the journey of another, to experience the continuum of life and our connectedness as God’s beloved despite great distance in experience and geography.
Courage and faith, love and trust in the face of insurmountable odds have priceless lessons for me in my comfortable Western world.
Together we know deeply that we are part of a much bigger story, and that our combined story has the priceless potential to encourage others as we work toward the Hebrew “tikkun olam,” healing the world.
Together, with courage and faith, love and hope, we do our small part to bring God’s peace to the world.