This past Sunday the minister and many members of our congregation wore flame-red shirts or dresses. The banners and hangings at the front of the church were also red. This helped make the service feel like a party, a banquet and a fiesta. The celebration was part of the Sunday service beginning the season of Pentecost celebrating the giving of God’s Spirit to everyone and everything.
In the service, the Divine Spirit is represented by a large white Pentecost candle which is lit and then used to ignite a smaller slender white candle which begins the chain of light that moves, received and passed on, until we are a sea of light as we sit in our accustomed places in the congregation.
It is a brilliant time which marks God’s invitation to the congregation and the whole world to participate in God’s creative work. Pentecost is my favorite Sunday service in the church year. It is illuminating and full of promise as well as purpose. Sometimes there is cake in the church hall after the service. Cake is messy to serve and to eat and can remind us that sharing the community’s transforming spiritual gifts can be messy too.
The photo at the top of this blog entry is of a painting on cotton by an artist who was born in Djeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1991. Its title is: ‘How do the stars touch me? How do I touch the stars?’ Its date is 2023. The artist, Cecila Granara, grew up in Mexico, Rome and Chicago. She studied in London, Paris and New York. Celia speaks of her art as ‘poetry and symbolic iconography.’ She makes no mention of Pentecost or anything like that in what I have read.
For me, the flames touching the stars point towards something beyond words which is unspeakably wonderful.
My husband and I were recently in the South of France when we saw Cecilia’s piece at ‘Chateau La Coste,’ in an exhibition called, ‘Art and Architecture.’ It was a twenty five minute taxi ride from where we were staying in Aix en Provence.
I give thanks. Happy Season of Pentecost!