Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Different and Same

By Rev. Amanda Atkin

Upon returning from Cuba, I am struck by how much we have in common with a little church on a dirt road in a rural village. Sure, the language is different; air conditioning is nonexistent, and our friends are far more effusive than we could ever imagine being. But some things are the same regardless of the setting. Their little boys have to be separated when they fight over the same seat. Their teenagers fall in love and have crushes. Their children love to go to the pool once a year when the church holds a party for them. The adults share pictures of their kids and grandkids and talk about how quickly kids grow up. The farmers proudly show off their tomato plants and worry about when it might rain again. As a faith community they talk about how to strengthen communication by listening more and talking less. They have a food service committee. They pray about how to strengthen their outreach and mission, they pray for each other, and they pray for peace and security.

Even though we are separated by an ocean, a language and an embargo, we are united by the Holy Spirit. We both love and serve Jesus Christ and struggle daily to be faithful. This Sunday is Pentecost. A day where we remember the story of how the Holy Spirit came upon the believers in Jerusalem and every one heard in their own language “God’s deeds of power.” A day where we remember that even though the language may change and we may be confused and lost in conversation, we still know together the miraculous and amazing power of God. Thanks be to God for the gift of the Spirit and the gift of the church, wherever she may be found.

Amanda Atkin is the Associate Pastor of Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary, NC, and this article originally appeared in their newsletter, The Enabler.

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