Pentecost – Year A
My ability to speak another language seems to be limited. In bygone Peace Corps days I did know some Filipino. A part of my learning that lovely language was rather cacophonous. If enough of us learners of poor ability were together it may well have sounded windy.
If this learning another's language process was instantaneous, it may have been a quieter Pentecost and fewer people would have been drawn to see what was happening. Thank goodness for the noise of a learning process.
As it was, care for another's difference (language, at least) emboldened folks to move outside their room to engage others with what they had just experienced – an open heart to others that opened their minds and doors. A joy contained in that movement does become noticed.
The membership vows of the United Methodist church have long been four-fold and inward focused. We are called to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, and service. Note that this is support for the institutional church. At our General Conference just completed, a fifth vow was added that functions like the fire in that small wind and fire room of long ago – witness – tell deeds of loving-kindness (not doctrinal belief, but deeds). We'll see what this small change makes – hopefully as much as the small room and small number of people made in earlier days.