Thoughts on School for Leadership Training Opening Worship

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February 21, 2011

The chapel was filled with faces, many of them known to each other, younger, older, in between, all excited

, anticipating the next few days.

We began in worship. The room was suddenly filled with harmony of voices. I hadn't heard singing with that many in a while... "I sing the mighty power of God."

Introductions were made, welcomes were said, then the speaker, Cheryl Bridges Johns, came to the podium.

She spoke of the passage in Joel, which was referred to in the celebration of the Pentecost. She talked about the promise of blessings poured out. She described the spirit poured out on the people as just a taste of the "wine" of the spirit that was to come. Even just a taste made people seem completely drunk… at 9 o'clock in the morning! Imagine the coming kingdom in which all will be restored and we'll taste the wine in fullness. We live in between - after tasting and before drinking fully.

She used words and expressions unfamiliar, (or maybe too familiar?) to me. At first it was hard to listen. What did she really mean by all this? Who is she speaking to? Was this a pep talk or some kind of rally for a group of like-minded people?

By the end, however, I realized we had something in common. Our hope for the coming of God's country, which will restore and reconcile all things.

Until then, we wait and "groan" with creation, she says.

And we do.

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