I’ll bet those of you who know about my love affair with my worship community were wondering when I’d get around to a post on our Pentecost celebration…
First, I have to tell you that this feast is one of two Sundays (Christ the King is the other) when Gesu cancels the 8:00 and 10:30 liturgies and has a single Sunday liturgy at 9:30, so it really does stand out as a feast of note.
As is pretty common, at least here in the Detroit area, folks try to remember to wear red on Pentecost. And let me tell you, a lot of folks remembered. It was so inspiring to look around and see a sea of red all around.
To me, this celebration is all about acknowledging that the Spirit of Jesus is alive and active in my life, and really pledging anew to lean into the grace of this experience of God, letting that “holy passion” flow in and through me. What a gift it is to have
good GREAT communal liturgy to support and feed that passion!
Musically…things were spirited as usual…the only real flub on my part came as I was introducing the psalm response on the clarinet. I was handed the sheet music literally seconds before I was to play it, and since I wasn’t expecting to play it, my adrenaline level spiked a bit, then transposing on the fly, I hit one clinker…but it was just a brief note, and if anyone noticed, I’m sure they forgot soon after, so no big deal.
I think that’s what I like about Gesu so much. Everyone says our music is fantastic, and what I really think it is, is not so much a talent thing, but that our music ministry is first and foremost, genuine prayer. Of course, we like it when we do something well, but there is an unspoken agreement that we are about prayer, not performance. And if others’ hearts are lifted by our prayer, then that’s an added bonus. Another added bonus is that an occasional mistake is not a big deal…that’s not true in every group I’ve played with…
Listening…that’s the key to making good music. The sounds I get out of my instruments are noise if they are not created in a setting of a team of musicians listening to each other for changes in tempo, key, volume, intensity, etc.
I think that listening is also a key to receiving the gift of the Spirit. I’m reminded of that story of Elijah from 1 Kings, Chapter 19. That God was not in the wind, fire or earthquake, but in a tiny whispering sound. If I don’t make an effort to step away from all the things and activities that crowd my mind, there’s a real risk of missing how God is showing up for me. That’s why an annual retreat is not so much a luxury, but a necessity for me. That’s why making a commitment to regular prayer, even in the busiest of times, is so important. Could I do better with this commitment? Absolutely!
I hope all of you who are from the Christian tradition had a blessed Pentecost!