Pastor’s Corner: Honoring Beginnings and Endings

June 1, 2022

As you’ve probably noticed over the years, I have some fascination with time and with the ways we mark time. Human beings like to acknowledge beginnings and endings.

This Sunday we will do both. We will celebrate Pentecost, often called “the birthday of the Church” because, well, why not? Before that Pentecost day (which already existed as a religious festival) Jesus’ followers seemed determined to gather with one another, but if they had other goals, they weren’t acting on them. After the festival, their numbers had grown, they’d begun a public program of proclamation, and they would soon begin organizing their swelling communities. That sounds like a good marker for the Church’s birth.

I could, however, make a case that Jesus’ resurrection was its birth, or the commission he issued at the Last Supper (Love one another). I could argue that it began with Jesus’ summons to the first disciples, or perhaps the day of his baptism. I might even posit that the Church was born when Jesus was in that stable in Bethlehem.

Why, for that matter, do we celebrate graduations as we do? Graduations mark the end of one kind of formal education, but frequently they lead into a new kind of formal education and always they lead into continuing education of brand-new kinds. It makes as much sense, I think, to honor the end of each school year – or term – or month – or week.

What is important is the act of celebration, of acknowledgment, of renewal. Why we pause when we do I can’t always say. The pause itself, however, is essential to being human. We are not creatures who “just move on to the next thing.” We congratulate one another. We comfort one another. We laugh with one another. We weep with one another.

Honor these beginnings and endings of life, friends. Congratulations to our graduates, and Happy Birthday to the Church!

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

The image is Pentecost (ca. 1308-1311) by Duccio di Buoninsegna – Web Gallery of Art: Image Info about artwork, Public Domain,

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on June 3, 2022

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