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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Pentecost Prayer

On Sunday we celebrated Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles as tongues of flame and they began speaking in every language, such that everyone in the city from every land could understand the good news they proclaimed. The service at my new church was very powerful: While the priest read the Gospel, this story of the Holy Spirit and the tongues, in English, several other people read it aloud in different languages, including Latin, Spanish, and Swedish. It was an intense, moving experience, this jumble of powerful, holy words through which I could hear my native tongue. I'm no C. S. Lewis, but Pentecost inspired this.

Come, Holy Spirit, Crazy Lady
Who rips through our mouths, giving us new red tongues…
Purify us with your Fire as in the Beginning, You over the waters of Creation,
That predawn of the word through which you streaked hot color,
Giving us warmth.

Tear through our lives! Mother Shaking Earthquake, set fires
Burn heavy debris freeing souls to raw newness
And we will dance and sing and yell in Elemental Tongues
Ripped apart with joy.


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