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1544 South Snoqualmie St.
Seattle, WA 98108
USA

(206)762-1991

The mission of Seattle Presbytery is to participate, in word and deed, in God’s transforming work through the Gospel of Jesus Christ: †by strengthening the witness and mission of our congregations and members and by building strong partnerships with each other and the larger Christian community.

Events (Archive)

Reflections On Pentecost

Seattle Presbytery

by Eliana Maxim, Associate EP

There’s nothing as disorienting and alienating than walking among people who speak a language you do not comprehend. It’s not just the strange sounding, meaningless words but the context that bars you entry into their world. The world.

Growing up as an immigrant in the U.S, I remember clearly watching my parents’ bewildered faces as others rattled off streams of explanations, directions, or requirements in English. As long as this barrier was up, we would always remain on the outside looking in. What a relief, what a blessing!, when they began to learn and understand the language and were able to speak up for themselves, for their family, and for others.
 
I can’t help but think that the season of Pentecost reflects a lot of these same emotions. Baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ, we are each empowered with the one Spirit that allows us to interact with one another without need of a translator. Our feet are set in the same direction and together we are united by the one Spirit, and enabled to seek the common good through our various gifts. But perhaps more importantly, as the body of Christ, we are given the same language with which to communicate.
 
That doesn’t mean we’re going to agree on everything, or even reach the same conclusion about where we wish to go (as evidenced by our ecclesial disagreements over many issues). But we can agree that no one person (or group) can claim exclusive insight or possession of the Spirit; that we are each called to magnify God’s presence in the world and our life together is a reflection of unified diversity. Regardless of what your language of origin might be, this is an assurance that needs no human translation.