Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday five: gifts of the Spirit

OR PENTECOST THIS WEEKEND, FROM ACTS CHAPTER 2

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' "

Thinking about all the gifts of the spirit and what Peter said of the "last days." Have you or anyone you know...

1. ...ever experienced a prophecy (vision or dream) that came true?
Not so much a prophecy as the very clear sense, upon a first taste of something, that it represented a beginning for me, the first frame of the next stage of my life. My campus visit to the college I'd later attend, my first real step into church music, my first kiss with Beloved. At each of those moments, I was sure about what would happen next, before I had any reason to be (as each represented a sea change in my life). That certainty carried me through a number of "dark nights of the soul." They were clear moments of a YES so strong that it rang in all the chambers of my heart, soul and mind.

2. ...dreamed of a stranger, then actually met them later?
My older self. Sort of a "deja vu" thing when I got to the "recognition" part, a "Hey, some part of me saw this before" thing.

3. ...seen a wonder in heaven? (including UFO's)
Well, the Northern Lights knock me out every time I see them!


4. ...seen a "sign" on the earth?
I think there are signs of God's presence among us everywhere: in the kindness of a stranger, in the beauty of dew on grass, in a congregation singing together. Sometimes it moves me to tears. I think the Celtic concept of "thin places" is really interesting— spots at which the "veil" between this world and another is translucent.

5. ...experienced knowledge of another language without ever having studied it?
Music. And the beauty of it is, everyone can have that experience. You don't have to understand all the compositional intricacies and cultural references of a piece of music to be moved by it. You just have to be willing to really open yourself and listen.

Bonus Question: What would a modern day news coverage of the first Pentecost have sounded like?
I think we would have received eyewitness accounts of what they were wearing and what they'd been drinking, that we all might buy those products. Sigh.

Thanks for the questions, Presbyterian Gal!

9 comments:

The Swandive said...

your number for is simply gorgeous.

RevAnne said...

Love this play-so wise.
Having taken a class this semester on theology of music, love your #5. I have no music education and felt like they wanted me to have at least a master's to understand the class (which was totally not a prerequisite). I also felt like it wasn't okay to just enjoy it...but it's over now. Thanks for your play!

RevDrKate said...

Love the music language thoughts and #1 and 4 too. Great answers.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Great answers. Music is definitely a language. Hadn't thought of that. And I believe the basis of all prophecy comes from the divine YES.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I like your phrase about the clear moments of YES. I've known those too, Aren't they marvelous?

Choralgirl said...

Swan, Kate, Presby--thanks! :-)

Ruth--powerful experience, no? Wish they'd come along a bit more often, but I'm grateful for the ones I've had.

Anne--would love to hear more about your class. But I think the best thing about music, the most powerful thing, is its universality. We're ALL a part of it, having studied it or not.

Jan said...

I love your first answer. So beautiful.

Diane said...

I so agree with #4, and the bonus: too true!

Counselor in Process said...

Ah, that first kiss. I remember our first kiss after walking outside all day and her scent-17 years later. Thanks for the memory.