This brief sermon was followed by a time of experiential worship”
Pickles? Pickles in communion? There’s no pickles in communion. Ever since the middle of the 20th century, starting from Jewish delis in New York, the pickle has been served with sandwiches your turkey and swiss, your pastrami and rye, and your tunafish. Picklles on your plate, but with the plate and cup of Holy Communion? Pickles.
But that’s what I thought I heard. Pickles.
Except that’s not what the Rev. Mark Bangert said. He said “epiclesis”. Greek “epi” meaning near or at and klesis – to call to. It is the prayer that is said during communion—the prayer to come Holy Spirit.
Epiklesis and pickles. What if instead of one day to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit a couple of thousand years ago, what if our prayer were come Holy Spirit every day. What if the Holy Spirit were as present as those pickles on every lunch plate. Actually, that’s more faithful to what we encounter in scripture, what we experience in life. The Holy Spirit has been, is and will be inspiring whenever and wherever. It is the Holy Spirit that inspires musicians to write, and play, choirs and congregations to sing; It is with the Holy Spirits inspiration that artists draw and paint, and sculpt, and build. It is the Holy Spirit’s inspiring that brings us together. So today, we are not going to talk about the Holy Spirit, but we are going to practice being inspired by the Spirit. We have three different opportunities to experience the power of the Spirit. One will be with art, and we will melt crayons to create something like stained glass images of the Spirit, of the fire, and of the Wind/breath. Bill and Kyna will help lead this activity.
At this other table, we have cards, hole punch, pens, and string. This is our prayer station, that with the presence of the Holy Spirit, you working together can compose our prayers of the people.
The third option is the ancient practice of the mutual consolation of the saints. You can spend with one another in conversations of care. It can be with someone you may know well, or maybe not. claim these seats here, for anyone who would like to remain in these seats. It is with the power of the Holy Spirit that we can be genuinely present, listening, and curious about one another.
You are free to move from one station to another as, as we say the Spirit moves you from table to table as the Spirit moves you.
begin this sacred time with a prayer—an Epiclesis. Come Holy Spirit, we invite you, we welcome you, we beg you, come be with us as your children gathered in this place.
Inspirit us to work together, to experience you in one another, to feel your power, your momentum, your energy, you connection within and among us. May we remember not just pickles on a plate, but your presence in this place. Amen.