Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, May 16, 2022

Pre-Pentecost? - Rector's Rambling for May 15, 2022

     I once heard this Sunday referred to as ‘pre-Pentecost’, and I think that is an appropriate title.  Today’s Gospel Lesson is about Jesus’ teaching that the Holy Ghost is going to come to those who are witnesses of the Resurrection and put their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord, but it is not without some apprehension on the part of those disciples.

The apprehension is two-fold.  One is that Jesus warns them that he must go away and of course that causes concern.  Mind you, this teaching is coming BEFORE the Cross, and immediately following Jesus saying to them that persecution is coming, and that those who may kill you think they are doing it for God!  Imagine hearing that and then followed immediately by Jesus saying He will be going away!  And for us reading it during Eastertide we also envision that this must also be in the minds and heart of the disciples as they are now seeing Jesus after the Resurrection.   But He is coming and going, and we know in hindsight that He will  be Ascending into Heaven and once again the relationship will change.

Change is scary.  The unknown is scary.  We settle into a routine, and some routines are good for us.  Perhaps a better word for this would be discipline.  We are routine, or disciplined, about getting up at a certain hour, saying our prayers, studying scripture, and exercise.

But changes happen and sometimes God is at the center of that change.  Not just change of routine but changes around us of our circumstances, and internally to us as well.

The disciples following Jesus during his earthly ministry saw lots of changes in 50 days….The cross, the empty grave, the appearances, and then the ascension.  Yet in the midst of all of it we hear Jesus bidding us “peace be with you” and ultimately sending to us God the Holy Ghost to guide us and lead us into all truth. 

Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, and lighten us with your celestial fire!  May we rest assured of our Lord’s presence and guidance today and always!