Sunday, May 20, 2018

Looking Bach at Pentecost

Whitsunday is the name we give to the day of the Feast of Pentecost. The name, "White" Sunday, stands in contrast to the red colors that priests wear on this day and may be a more fitting description of the clothes worn by those coming to be confirmed or baptized on Pentecost. I don't know when the custom of having us pewsitters wear red came into being, but having very few articles of red clothing myself, this Sunday always makes me feel a wee bit like the odd person out. This year I found a Hawaiian shirt displaying images of flaming volcanoes to wear. I think I'll go with that and try to fit in with the crowd for once.

Never one to follow the herd, I prefer classical music to modern praise music. For that reason, I may have to put in my ear buds at some point in this Sunday's service and listen to a little Bach.

Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! ("Ring out, you songs; sound, you strings!"), BWV 172, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, composed in Weimar in 1714 for Pentecost Sunday.


While most of us will not be treated to such wonderful sounds, churches that still follow the BCP lectionary will hear either the wonderful good news found in John 20:19-23 or John 14:8-17 as today's Gospel reading.

John 20:19-23
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

or John 14:8-17
Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you."

Just think where we would be today if the gift of the Holy Spirit had not been bestowed upon the Apostles.

Wearing anything but volcano print Hawaiian shirts I suppose.

No comments:

Post a Comment