Pentecost has always been one of my favorite days of the Church year. The whole imagery of the Holy Spirit coming down and consuming, filling, intensely transforming people in a completely uninhibited way -- that imagery has done wonders for my life.
The idea that since the followers of Jesus were open, they were able to receive the fullness of this gift, this presence, this warmth truly coming alive within their souls.
What they must have felt in that incredible moment!
I picture this great instant, and I can't help but think of the assurance they felt, this great peace they felt, as the beautiful hymn exclaims (and as Audrey beautifully sings), "No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that refuge clinging; Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?"
They left the room, singing. In joy, singing. In strife, singing. In turmoil, singing. In darkness, singing.
In trust. In assurance. In faith.
They were transformed.
We can be, too. You and me and our families and our friends and our enemies. We can be transformed, if we are only open to how the Holy Spirit wants to move in our lives.
Something I can't help but recognize are the parallels of the Holy Spirit changing and transforming the disciples in the upper room, just as I have been transformed (and am transforming) in my marriage.
I opened up my heart, that beautiful day in November 2008. I tasted vulnerability in a newly profound way, I entered into the room in the willingness of being changed.
And just as the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in the upper room, the Holy Spirit came upon my groom and me that day.
We left that room, changed. We left that room, transformed. We left that room, new.
That sacrament changed us. The Holy Spirit changed us. And it is doing it afresh, every single day, if we open ourselves up to it. It takes our willingness, just like the disciples, to be made new.
And though marriage has been difficult at times (we have been trampled with stumbling blocks that seemed to pour down until we weren't able to breathe), we had the peace of this Spirit within us. We had to remember, "No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that refuge clinging..."
Since that afternoon in the Fall that changed my life, the path has been rocky and it has been unsteady at times, but I hold steadfast to the peace of Christ, and my soul sings out:
"And day by day this pathway smooths, since first I learned to love it, the peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing...
How can I keep from singing?"
In joy, singing. In strife, singing. In turmoil, singing. In darkness, singing.
Let us open ourselves up to this peace of the Holy Spirit, just as the disciples did on that day of Pentecost two thousand years ago. Let us be transformed.
I collaborated with Nancy Bandzuch, Laura K Fanucci, and Nell O'Leary to write a scripture study on marriage. Let's pray, together, to continue to be transformed, to continue to be made new, to continue to sing. Get your 4 week lectio divina study here.
In between tweeting, reading books to my daughters, and [not] burning mac n cheese, I am the Founder + Creative Director of Blessed is She women's ministry + community.