Thursday, May 1, 2014

Prayer for when we dismiss the outpouring of God's Spirit as drunkenness

Pentecost - by

Acts 2:15-18
15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
O God,
Even these many years later, it seems we are still making assumptions and judgments about the people on which you choose to pour out your Spirit. On Pentecost you reminded us that you would use sons and daughters, old and young, slave and free, to speak words of truth into our world—an abundant outpouring not restricted by our discriminatory tendencies. Yet, we your church, have spent the last 2000 years foolishly busying ourselves deciding who is in and who is out when it comes to receiving your Spirit and ministering to your people. You even went to the extent of coming to us in the flesh, choosing outcasts, sinners, enemies, and those not even allowed in the temple to be your disciples and lead your church. Why God do we still not get it? Why are we so focused on trying to restrict and be gatekeepers of the outcasts you continue to douse with your Spirit?
We are good at baptizing your children. We are good at making communal vows to raise that child in the faith. We are good at helping that child when they come of age to confirm the promises made on their behalf at their baptism. We are good at helping that young person have space to hear your call and respond to it. We are good at it unless you created them gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer—if that is the case we are not so good. We abandon your LGBTQ children called into ministry.
Like the witnesses of that first Pentecost who dismissed your Spirit as drunkenness, we make judgmental assumptions about your calling on people's lives. Forgive us, we pray. Help us see people like Mary Ann Barclay as you see them. Help us keep the vows we made at her baptism. Help us help her be faithful to her calling to serve your church. Help the Southwest Texas Board of Ordained Ministry be faithful to their task. Amen.
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To take part in the prayer vigil before Mary Ann Barclay's ordination interview, click here.

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