Pentecost – Bluegrass style!
As I always say, no-one does a hootenanny better than the Lutherans. Ok, I don’t always say that but I will be saying it more often from now on. I attended the House For All Sinners and Saints Bluegrass Liturgy for Pentecost last Sunday. If there is ever proof of how desperately we need community, it’s this! I never would have put bluegrass and liturgy together, much less thought of doing it on Pentecost. But there it was – bringing all the foot stomping, body rocking and animated laughter that Pentecost is truly all about. I am now wondering if God’s laughter sounds like bluegrass music.
The sermon (always done with a beautiful and profound simplicity by Pastor Nadia) focused on the danger bird (her words were Raptor Dove)– this mysterious Holy Spirit who comes into us and “messes us up”. You can see why I connect here – this is the theme that I have come to love, even crave, deeply. This dangerous bird (seen with scary eyes and talons extended on the red drapey thingie in the picture below– I know none of the right Lutheran words) does that impossible thing in us – it causes us to make room for the other. S/He does what it takes to knock down our walls of being right and pride and whatever so that oneness can happen. Oneness has not been a priority in the Church for so long. You know that other pesky stuff that gets in the way – like being right, dissociating from those who disagree, and then dissociating from those who associate with those who disagree, and those who don’t do it our way, and those who associate with those who don’t do it our way, yada yada yada. But…. the Spirit rushes through and we begin to dance and what was I saying? Something shifts and soon we are pouring out our hearts in prayer, making room for everyone, for the Feast now and the Feast still to come.
On a personal note, I visit HFASS because my thirsty heart is being nourished by a female pastor. I can be greatly nourished by male pastors too but their voices are so prominent in my tradition that I need to step away once in a while and soak up more of the Holy from someone like me. The cool thing about this particular female pastor is that she isn’t one – she’s just a pastor. It’s a non-issue. She just loves God and loves people. That seems to be HFASS too – deeply rooted in faith and unbound in love.
Here’s some pictures of the celebration (All taken by the amazing Amy Clifford, another very nourishing woman. Used with permission of course.)