“Journeys” is New Ways Ministry’s series of Scriptural reflection for LGBTQ people and allies. Each installment selects a passage of Scripture, followed by reflection questions, a prayer, and a video meditation. These resources are suitable for individual reflection, for discussion with a spiritual friend or counselor, or for communal reflection in a parish, school, or other faith community. This post and the entire series are catalogued on the “Journeys” webpage. The more than 20 installments are available for download in PDF format on the webpage.
We pray that these resources will aid your personal journey with God.
If you would like to share some of your reflections with other Bondings 2.0 readers, please feel free to post whatever responses you have in the “Comments” section of this post.
PENTECOST: The Animated, Extravagant and Flamboyant Spirit of God
Pentecost is the day when the animated, extravagant and flamboyant Spirit of God explodes out into the streets with violent winds and a blazing fire that descends and rests on each and every person regardless of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sex, gender, expression, gender-identity or sexual orientation.
Pentecost is the day when the animated, extravagant and flamboyant Spirit of God emboldens the People of God to prophesy, dream dreams, and see visions.
Pentecost is the day when the animated, extravagant and flamboyant Spirit of God blesses the church with a new and compassionate heart to be God’s healings, miracles and marvels on earth.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2: 1-11
1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one room. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the entire house in in which they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were devout people living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, they all came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their native language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they said: “Surely all of these people speaking are Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears these words in our native tongue? 9 We are Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as visitors from Rome – 11 both Jews and converts to Judaism – Cretans and Arabs too; we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own native tongues!”
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- How do our differences as LGBTQ persons enrich the People of God? What strengths do we bring to our families, churches and communities as LGBTQ persons and allies?
- Given the different “languages” we encounter and speak (literally and figuratively) how can we effectively communicate through our LGBTQ stories and lives so as to be heard? What could be some of the obstacles we face to good communication ?
- As an LGBTQ person or ally, how have you experienced the animated, extravagant and flamboyant Spirit of God? How has the same Spirit “driven you out into the streets” to fulfill God’s call for you? Does the intensity of this call frighten you or fire you up?
- How can LGBTQ history, signs and prophetic witness serve as divine inspiration – that God continues to speak and work through LGBTQ persons and allies?
- Since the Spirit of Pentecost reverses what happened at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11), where do you see God working to gather the fragments of a broken or alienated LGBTQ community to create a new, inclusive space? What remains to be done through the work of human hands?
- Have there been events in LGBTQ history that almost seem “pentecostal” – where the wind and fire of God have brought about revolutionary and pioneering change? How have these events empowered and emboldened you? Do you have any experiences like this in your personal history?
May the Gifts of the Holy Spirit bring fire to the earth
so that the presence of God may be seen
in a new light, in new places, in new ways.
May our own hearts burst into flame
so that no obstacle, no matter how great,
ever obstructs the message of the God within each of us.
May we come to trust the Word of God in our heart,
to speak it with courage, to follow it faithfully
and to fan it to flame in others.
May the Jesus who filled women with his Holy Spirit
fill the world and the church with new respect
for women’s power and presence.
Give me, Great God, a sense of the Breath of Spirit
within me as I… (state the intention in your own life at this time for which you are praying.)
Pentecost Prayer by Joan Chittister, OSB
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. In an excerpt from the book, Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation, Sherry Wolf writes,
“Like a dam bursting, Stonewall was the eruption after twenty years of trickling progress by small handfuls of men and women whose conscious organizing gave way to the spontaneous wave of fury.”
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. On this historic anniversary, who’s to say that that “wave of fury,” which exploded out into the streets of Greenwich Village 50 years ago and which sparked a worldwide movement for LGBTQ rights, wasn’t the same holy fire that emboldened the first disciples to take to the streets and change their world?
In the 2016 video, below, President Obama designates the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s national parks system.
–Dwayne Fernandes, New Ways Ministry, June 9, 2019