From Advent through Easter, we have journeyed through the seasons of the church that tell the story of Jesus. Now, we enter a new season where we transition to the story of the people of God.
On the day of Pentecost, God fills us with the Holy Spirit, weaving us together as the body of God, the people of Christ. Just like in the story, many people of many different languages were united and could hear each other. I like this story because it inspires me to believe that even in great diversity, the Spirit gives us the ability to hear each other, to see each other. During the season of Pentecost this summer, we will consider what it means to be wholehearted people of God, called to embody the radical, unconditional Love and Grace in the world.
In her TED Talk on “The Power of Vulnerability,” Brené Brown speaks of what it means to be wholehearted people. She says that wholehearted people have a strong sense of belonging and love because they believe they are worthy of belonging and love. We need to be courageous in telling the story of who we are with our whole heart. We need to have compassion for ourselves first, so that we can be kind to others. We experience connection when we are being who we really are, when we are authentic.
Brown suggests that wholehearted people have vulnerability in common, for they believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. To be vulnerable, we let ourselves be deeply seen. This season of Pentecost, we dive into and name our vulnerability in confession and forgiveness as a community. We confess our humanness, the parts that we tend to cover up and hide in this world: our stubbornness, our arrogance, our lust, our hatred. We confess that we are not without flaw. We confess our doubts and our fears. We confess our longing for Love. By naming and claiming some of the deepest parts of ourselves, we learn to love with our whole hearts.
In addition to confession and forgiveness in worship, we also have the opportunity to be courageous in telling the story of ourselves in another way. This summer, we will explore how our unique, diverse selves are woven together to be a wholehearted people by participating in the communal art project on the big bulletin board in the Narthex (lobby). The heart is formed by many descriptions and self-identifiers. You are invited to grab a piece of yarn and begin wrapping and weaving it around statements that describe you. Embrace vulnerability. What do you notice as you participate in this practice? How do you feel? How are we connected together to be a wholehearted people of God? As you take a moment weaving your piece of yarn around different parts of yourself, you might consider the symbol of the Holy Trinity and how (in our doctrine) God is three persons in one—a symbol that, to me, represents how God is unity in diversity.
As we confess our humanness, we are reminded that nothing in this world or life is so broken that God cannot restore it to wholeness. In our brokenness and vulnerability, we are made beautiful. As we participate in worship and in our communal art project this summer, we pray…
Thank you for weaving us together in community,
for taking the vulnerable parts of ourselves and making them beautiful.
Give us courage to tell the story of ourselves with our whole hearts.
Instill in us compassion for ourselves and others.
Help us be an authentic, WholeHearted people in you.
Worship, Arts & Service Director
If you have questions regarding liturgy, music and arts, please don’t hesitate to contact me in person or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).