We are just now entering the long green season of Pentecost (Trinity Sunday is the First Sunday after Pentecost, although its liturgical color is white), which will last for about the next six months. For the first six months of the Church Year, the seasons have changed frequently as we journeyed with Christ through Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. Then, fifty days after Easter, and ten days after the Ascension of Christ into heaven, we celebrated the Day of Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Apostles, empowering them to go out into the world to preach, teach, and baptize in the name of Christ. And thus the Church was born! So, on Pentecost, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church. During the Season of Pentecost, then, we celebrate the growth of the Church, using the liturgical color of green to remind us to be active participants in the continuing growth of the Church in the world.
I recently ran across this story told by Leonard I. Sweet which relates to our part in the ongoing growth of the Church in the world–and right here at St. Francis’ Church in College Station: There is a folk story about a doctor who was called out to a holler late one night to assist a woman about to give birth. By the time the doctor arrived at the farmhouse, things had progressed to a point where the doctor asked the husband to assist him by holding a gas lantern up high in order to illuminate the makeshift delivery room.
Before long, the courageous mother delivered a healthy baby boy. As the father lowered the lantern, the doctor barked an order to keep the lantern aloft: “We’re not done yet.” Shortly, a second child appeared on the scene, a healthy baby girl. Shaken by the unexpected arrival of twins, you can imagine the father’s utter astonishment when the doctor said once again, “We can’t stop now. It looks as if it’s going to be triplets.” To which the stunned father, still holding the lantern high, replied, “Do you think it’s the light that’s attracting them?”
Lifting up the light of Christ attracts others. Be a beacon!