The heading “Coherent Voices” sounds a lot like an oxymoron. Coherence means there is a unifying reference. Yet in the middle of an argument when all sides are shouting there is no coherence. This country is in the middle of an argument about race, I like to call it human dignity. The protests of the past few days are an eruption of it.
Another man of color, George Floyd, has died while under arrest at the hands of the police. This continues to happen and it should not. Protests have happened in thirty cities because this must stop. Yes, there has been damage to property. The other side has labelled the protesters “thugs” and connects “looting” to “shooting” as pointed out in a recent Twitter comment by the President. The argument continues to be fanned for political gain.
This Sunday is Pentecost. Jews from the known world had gathered for a festival when the Holy Spirit came with the sound of a strong wind and tongues of fire settled above the heads of Jesus’ disciples. They spoke and those present, even with different dialects and languages, could hear clearly what was being said. There were many voices but they were coherent in the message which was about the wonderful things that God has done. One of the great things God has done and continues to do is work toward unity of all people.
The Holy Spirit is poured out upon all people with no distinction between age, rank or sex. God is pouring his Spirit on all people. We divide but God unifies. We degrade each other but Christ’s death and resurrection was for all and brings value to all humanity. We destroy but in Christ all creation is being made new.
The Gospel reading for this Sunday (John 20: 19-23) has Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. He sent them out with the business of forgiveness which is about restoration and the renewing of relationships (with God and each other). The church is being sent out today with a coherent message among the voices. The message is about human dignity that is granted not by us but by Christ himself. The message speaks directly to the division that it must end because the kingdom of heaven is not of this world. The message is about what the wonderful things God has done for us in Christ. It is for all.