Today was Pentecost Sunday, and I missed the traditional commemorations that I've never actually had before. I missed the scarlet fabric draped over the cross and across the Table. I missed the red roses and geraniums and snapdragons at the base of the pulpit. The red, orange, and gold streamers spun from the pews to the ceiling, Holy Spirit fire blazing up to heaven and down to us. The songs and stories remembering the surge of power that swept through the tiny band of cowering disciples, filling them with Love That Casts Out Fear, changing the world. "The Comforter has come."
More and more my husband and I find ourselves longing for these things. He laments the missed opportunities to share Communion more often - especially following sermons about loving the stranger or what it means to be the Body of Christ. "This is my body..." "There is one body..." I long for altar cloths, floral arrangements, and those banners quilted by crafty church ladies that call out the names of God or the fruit of the Spirit or whathaveyou. Things that mark the turning of the seasons - Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Eastertide, Pentecost, Ordinary Time...
I feel a bit lost these days. Tired. Wrung out. Like the Old Wineskins have sprung too many leaks to be useful anymore, but I can't quite throw them out, because I haven't any New Wineskins to replace them with. I'm left with Ziplock baggies. Flimsy, temporary, and not made to hold Good Wine. Baby carrots, maybe, but not Good Wine. And aren't we supposed to be cutting down on our use of plastic anyway?
So, today I wore a red blouse and MM and I thanked God for giving us His Spirit. Tomorrow, I'll pick some geraniums and roses from our garden. I'll keep looking for wineskins and hope that the wine will last.