Acts 16:9-15; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5; John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9
Acts 10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17
Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21
In John 5, festival scenes in the holy city are juxtaposed with the view of five porticoes full of invalids. Imagine dropping by the nursing home on your way to Christmas Eve services. One place is festive, filled with pretty clothes, color, light and music. The other location features crutches, canes and people who cannot hide their desperate need for healing.
We need to be reminded, as we celebrate Pentecost, that the Spirit is always much bigger and more "other" than we normally think.
I've seen the Athenians' approach in southern California.
"A virus breached the campus computer network last week and the entire system crashed. Repair has been difficult, but I bring a word of hope.” The director of information technology at the college where I was about to lecture on eschatology added, “This has been frustrating for everyone. Files have been corrupted and programs do not run properly. Please be patient. Some files have been restored. . . . Any day now we will be back to full operation.”
These are some of the nicest, happiest verses in scripture, easy to read because we all agree that we should love one another. Sunday school teachers affirm the thought, countless potholders and pillows are embroidered with it: Love one another. And then there's Robbie. Robbie lives a hard life and runs through help like water. After a while you want to tell her enough's enough.