By Frank Lewis
Having taken flight from Egypt, the Hebrews received the Torah after wandering in the desert for seven weeks. Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, marks the end of this time period which begins on the second evening of Passover. In other words, Shavuot takes place exactly 50 days after the first seder.
My favorite meeting of every week is the Monday Morning Team Lewis Huddle. It is our chance to check-in as a team and sets the tone for the week to come. As you might imagine, our first topic this morning was the weather. And quickly thereafter, came the observation that we should begin building a Team Lewis Ark. Of course, the first question was whether anyone knew where to find gopher wood. Yep – get out your phones – Noah built the ark out of gopher wood (Gen. 6:14). At that point my dear friend Misty brought the meeting to a stand-still. Can’t you hear it, she said. Shem turns to Ham and tells him he’s the “gopher”. Ham points out that they already have two. Shem responds: “No dude, it means when we run short on wood you gopher more wood...”. And then, I started thinking.
The word shortage sure is a strange word isn’t it? But oh my, haven’t we all come to feel its meaning? Stop for a moment and ponder all the shortages we’ve had to deal with in the recent past. Shortages of one type or another seemed to mark the time as we waited for the vaccines. Then there was snow-mageddon, and everyone ran short of heat, and water. Now we hear about shortages in labor, lumber, microchips and in other goods not often thought to be in short supply. And then there are the other shortages. A shortage of justice, common sense, and of peace.
At that first Pentecost the Apostles gathered to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. But they too, were suffering from a kind of shortage. Inspired as they were, still they had no real means of disseminating the gospel. Then the Holy Spirit descended, and everyone was able to hear and understand the gospel in their own language.
Amidst all the shortages we have endured, does it not feel like it has rained for forty days and forty nights? Or perhaps, does it feel like we’ve been wandering just a little bit in a desert of at-home schooling and shuttered businesses? And just like those trapped in a soggy ark, or in a desert for fifty days, or on a rooftop in Jerusalem waiting for a sign – are we not ready?
Thanks be to God – because it is finally time. Time for us to get out of the arks that have been our homes. Time for us gather as a people, and to hear and understand in our hearts and minds from within the walls of NorthPark. Time to join with one another once again and celebrate as we lean into our calling. A calling born of the Spirit that overcomes all shortages with a peace that passes all understanding; to be the feet and hands and eyes and ears and voice of the risen Christ in a world full of shortages, that so desperately needs us.