I knew that it would happen eventually, I just did not think that it would happen to me. One day last week I went through the red light in Karns on my way home. As I went through the red light I saw a car in front of me waiting for traffic to clear so that he could turn into the Walgreens drugstore. I slowed down and stopped in order to wait for him to turn into Walgreens. Just as soon as I stopped my truck, wham! I felt a jolt from behind. Nothing major, but it did kind of knock the breath out of me.
While the lady who hit my truck was calling the police, I began collecting the documents that I would need to show to the Sheriff’s deputy. My license was in my wallet along with my proof of insurance card. My registration was in the folder that stays in the compartment underneath the armrest. Having all those pieces of paper ready to go when the deputy arrived made filing the report a breeze. In no time at all, I was on my way in spite of my truck’s slightly bruised rear bumper. For what it is worth, the front end of a Volkswagen Passat is no match for the rear bumper of Dodge Dakota. Not that this is a competition or anything like it.
The report is finished and I am leaving the scene when this voice screams at me from somewhere inside my head, “When did you get so old?” I knew immediately what the voice was referring to. Twenty-five years ago my license would have been in my wallet, but the registration would not have been stored neatly in its own easy to find folder. If it was in the car at all, it would have been crumpled up in the glove box. Insurance, did you even have to have insurance twenty-five years ago? If you did, I know that you did not have to have proof of it. Twenty-five years ago it would not have mattered either way I would not have been able to find it. But now, now I have all the documentation that is needed to file an accident report right at my fingertips. When did I get so old?
Sunday Christians all around the world will celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the church. The church is just under 2,000 years old depending on how you count your years. That is old. By now, we should have everything organized and figured out. Everything at our fingertips for whatever situation may arise. So much of what we talk about in church happened a long time ago, Creation, Exodus, birth of Jesus, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost for that matter. We have had all this time to catalog and categorize pretty much everything that God has ever done. If we are not careful even our own personal experience with God can get filed away in the things God did a long time ago drawer.
That is what makes Pentecost so very important to the Church. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came. Wind and fire were blowing all around. At Pentecost, the Church came to realize that God is not just Creator and not just Savior, but also Spirit. God is breathing life, love and hope into God’s people. God is not past. God is not something that happened a long time ago. God is present. God is now. God is future. God is not easily categorized, cataloged or figured out. God is alive. That is the frightening and awesome reality we celebrate on Pentecost Sunday.