Jan Richardson, an artist, writer, and ordained minister in the United Methodist Church serves as director of The Wellspring Studio, LLC, and has travelled widely as a retreat leader and conference speaker. Below is her offering for Pentecost…

Acts 2.3-4

If we didn’t know it before, we surely know it now, as the second chapter of Acts unfolds: this is no tame God who comes to us, no safe and predictable deity. This is the God whose loving sometimes takes the form of scorching.

Before he left, Jesus told his friends he would send them the Advocate, the Comforter. Now we see this Comforter coming as wind, as flame, reminding us that comfort is not always comfortable, for it makes itself known in community, where we find the most searing challenges—and the deepest blessings—we will ever know.

This Graces That Scorches Us: A Blessing for Pentecost Day

Here’s one thing
you must understand
about this blessing:
it is not
for you alone.

It is stubborn
about this.
Do not even try
to lay hold of it
if you are by yourself,
thinking you can carry it
on your own.

To bear this blessing,
you must first take yourself
to a place where everyone
does not look like you
or think like you,
a place where they do not
believe precisely as you believe,
where their thoughts
and ideas and gestures
are not exact echoes
of your own.

Bring your sorrow.
Bring your grief.
Bring your fear.
Bring your weariness,
your pain,
your disgust at how broken
the world is,
how fractured,
how fragmented
by its fighting,
its wars,
its hungers,
its penchant for power,
its ceaseless repetition
of the history it refuses
to rise above.

If you still have the courage, you might like to pray this version of the Pentecost sequence penned by Susan Connolly rsj

Please continue reading Jan Richardson’s and Susan Connolly’s Poems here (PDF)

Frances Maguire rsj


© Jan Richardson. www.janrichardson.com Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons. Used with permission.