Being Soul Friends on the Margins

 

Being Soul Friends on the Margins of God

John 14:15-26 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,[a] to be with you forever..  ……………………………………….

23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

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Today is Pentecost and many churches will be celebrating with balloons, confetti and other ways to demonstrate the coming of the Spirit.

     When the Spirit overcame people on that first Pentecost, and everyone heard the various languages become a single language, that was symbolic of the love of God flowing through those who followed Jesus. It was a transformation which put soul into the lives of people. The soul of caring for people. Jesus promises the Holy Spirit in our gospel and tells the apostles they will be taught how to love.

    Beatrice Bruteau tells us, the essence of the first Pentecost in these words: “If we cannot love our neighbor as our self, it is because we do not perceive our neighbor as our self.”

    Paul in Acts 17:27 said: “There is an urgency that compels me to go to Jerusalem to finish the job God gave me which is to share his extravagant love.”

The church as we know it is dying.  Our numbers are small, our buildings are becoming tombs.  We talk of  hiring people to raise money, rather than look deep within ourselves to find the Spirit that gives life. The church as become a social club. Like Paul we are called to go to our Jerusalem’s to share the “extravagant love.”

Pentecost calls each one of us to conversion, to a transformation in sharing that “extravagant love,” in becoming “soul friends”.  In opening ourselves up to the Spirit, and to conversion, we will move out in the midst of people on our streets who are throw a ways, and be about the business of being soul friends. It is painful, dangerous, and nasty, but that is what the Holy Spirit transformed the early Church into doing–their lives, their witness of compassion and caring changed the world.

On this Pentecost let us remember “No matter how you are feeling; Get up; Dress up; and never give up.” Be transformed into soul friends. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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