living between the big three

The church calendar feels unbalanced somehow, at least about the big three holidays.

The really big holiday, acknowledged inside and outside of the church, is Christmas. We are excited about Christmas. Everyone loves a baby. We are ready for angels and mangers and cuteness.

And then, the holiday that we know is more important than Christmas, a sense which is reinforced by the fact that it gets less attention, is Easter. The death and resurrection of Jesus, while less glamorous, is, of course, more important, more world-transforming.

But those two holidays are too close together. They should be evenly spaced, somehow, well centered on the equini. Instead, from a church planning calendar perspective, just when you are done with Christmas, you have to start Easter planning.

You know what I mean?

But I mentioned a third holiday. What’s as big as Christmas and Easter? Memorial Day? Fourth of July?


Pentecost Sunday. That’s the third one. And it comes this Sunday.

Many of us skip that holiday, ignoring it, missing it, never thinking about it.

But it’s the holiday that celebrates the unleashing of the church, the empowering of the disciples. They were told to wait. And they did. And then, they couldn’t be stopped.

They were given the Holy Spirit.

I know. This is one of those subjects that makes Christ followers of all backgrounds a little troubled. We agree about Christmas and Easter, but what do we do with such a clear demonstration of unclear power?

Maybe we just get out of the way.

Maybe we just wait.

Maybe, this Sunday we say, “God in three persons, I don’t understand the three persons part, but I want to know your power, in a loving, transforming way. May I?”

Maybe the answer won’t be tongues of flame. But maybe…