Pentecost and Pinwheels
Gwen Simpson of Lamoni, IA, USA
God is calling for a prophetic community to emerge, drawn from the nations of the world, that is characterized by uncommon devotion to the compassion and peace of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Through divine grace and wisdom, this faith community has been given abundant gifts, resources, and opportunities to equip it to become such a people. Chief among these is the power of community in Christ ex-pressed locally in distinctive fashions while upholding a unity of vision, foundational beliefs, and mission throughout the world.
There are many issues that could easily consume the time and energy of the church. However, the challenge before a prophetic people is to discern and pursue what matters most for the journey ahead. -Doctrine and Covenants 163:11
“God, where will your Spirit lead today?” I was speaking at a congregation in our mission center on Pentecost Sunday. It had been an interesting week as I made preparation to speak on the coming of the Spirit to those early Christians. All week, as I prayed the Mission Prayer, I was asking myself whether I was really open to the Spirit and ready to respond. Was I really ready for adventure and stepping out in faith? Had my pew become too routine and comfortable?
The songs and prayers that morning spoke to me further as I waited to share my thoughts with those gathered. Just before I was to speak, a lady helped us make pinwheels out of red, orange, or yellow paper. She showed us how to fold the paper and attach it to a pen with a straight pin. I was delighted with the analogy and eagerly made mine. When it was completed, I blew on it to get it moving, only it didn’t move. Then I realized I was holding the pencil with my hand too high. The pinwheel couldn’t move because my finger was in the way.
When I moved my finger and blew into the pinwheel, it spun around. In that moment of insight, I realized that often in my life I tried to plan and order everything well in advance. I like to be in control; after all, I’m much more comfortable that way. Maybe the Spirit couldn’t do its serendipitous work in my life because my finger (control and planning) got in the way. I wanted to do the leading! How often was I wrestling with the Spirit for control of where I was to go that day?
I shared my insight with the congregation and closed my thoughts encouraging them to use the Mission Prayer as a means of inviting the Spirit to guide their lives. I brought my bright yellow pinwheel home, and it sits on my dresser as a reminder to have “courage to risk,” getting my fingers out of the way so the Spirit can guide me into something new.
In God we all belong.
Sustaining Our Connections
Many find themselves isolated around the world to protect each other and the most vulnerable during this global pandemic. Spend time prayerfully imagining those people that you might normally come into contact with on a regular basis, known and unknown. Remember all the connections that sustain our lives each day. Even in this time of intentional separation, how are you experiencing deep, intrinsic belonging in God?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.