Sunday, 18 May 2008

Pentecost at Saint James

Breath came into them
and they lived.

This phrase from Ezekiel 37 was written in many languages, set unobtrusively on the shelves in front of unadorned glorious sunlight yellow walls.

Over our heads, tissue ribbons of fire descend from the wires that stretch across our encircled chairs—red, gold, coral, bronze, lemon yellow.

In the front of the room, where we kneel to take communion, glowing crimson swathes of cloth descend from the ceiling to two white pedestals, pillars of fire.

Our skepticism about the good we seek to do
must not erode our compassion,
Geoffrey says, retired mime.

He enacts Ezekiel 37, first a frenzied urbanite, a puppet of meaningless frantic repetitive motion, then dead, then slowly returning to life, blown back into self awareness.

In the song, poet Kathy Galloway renders the Spirit female—
She comes with sister’s carefulness
strong to support and bind.
Her voice will speak for justice’ sake
and peace is in her mind.

She comes with power like the night
and glory like the day.
Her reign is in the heart of things—
O come to us and stay.

We daringly attempt an unrehearsed responsive reading of the scriptural Pentecost account,
with drums and shakers,
and a great babbling in many tongues.

I half expect the roof to fly off
and a white dove descend.