I am so blessed to belong to a Roman Catholic parish where Pentecost Sunday Mass went from a bird kite swooping over the altar during the processional to a choir singing an old-time gospel favorite after Communion, complete with a brass section and a drummer. Dancing in the main aisle was not only permitted but strongly encouraged as our cantor skipped and do-si-doed her way up the main aisle and back again. Yes – I did say Catholic and yes I was one of those dancing in aisle.
See, at St. James we know how to celebrate and we had so much to celebrate. As though Pentecost wasn’t wonderful enough, one of our own had just been ordained a deacon and our beloved pastor was celebrating forty years of priesthood. The Holy Spirit is always moving here but wow was it was moving yesterday, even by St. James standards. It wasn’t too hard to spot the visitors to the parish. They were a bit slack-jawed.
There was a Call to the Altar for those who felt so moved. To see the priests and deacons lined all the way across the front of the church laying hands on so many of my brothers and sisters was incredible. I could feel the deep burning in my heart that I’ve only felt a handful of times before and there is no denying that Presence. In a moment of sheer abandon, I too answered the Call. But the moment that truly blew me away was to see a visiting retired bishop who had just finish laying hands on those coming forward turn to the young priest next to him and bow his head to receive the same blessing as the rest of us.
After Communion, our choir broke into This Little Light Of Mine – yes you know you know it. They really kicked it into high gear and when our cantor went skipping up the aisle, there were a fair number of us who jumped right out in the aisle with her singing, clapping and dancing with sheer joy. Even my thirteen-year son, who is usually too busy being cool, came out of the pew behind me and the smile on his face was indescribable.
Where the Spirit will lead me next, only he knows. But I’ve done things in the past few years that I never thought I would or could do. Giving a witness talk to 250 people being the most recent. I’ve done none of those things on my own power. So I’ll leave you with one thought – may it get stuck in your head and more importantly, in your soul.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine! EVERYDAY!!!