In a few weeks we will celebrate Pentecost (thank God it’s not on Mother’s Day or Memorial Day this year). I say that we should prepare for it. Just as Lent forces us to journey through our spiritual wilderness, and Advent renews our respect for the prophets of old, so we are now in the midst of fifty days of reflection on the new thing that God is bringing about. Now is the time to prepare for when the Kingdom of God is manifested in power. The weekly scripture lessons of the lectionary help us with this by scanning ahead in the book of Acts to chapters 9, 11, and 16. These stories are to be read in the future tense. One day, God will do to us what he did to Jesus’ first followers.
Case in point is Peter and the spiritual baptism of the household of Cornelius (Acts 11:1-18). One day, the Holy Spirit will fall upon our church and we will no longer be content to worship with mumbles and half-hearted prayers. We will leave our segregated enclaves. We will cross over the boundaries of neighborhoods and break bread with those living in food deserts, with substandard housing, and drive by shootings. One day the church will travel to the places where God has decided to pour out his Holy Spirit. Pentecost is not among us, yet — it is over there.