Look at this close-up of Jesus’ right hip. It’s so swirly!
Now look at his whole body. Even though he is seated, his body and clothing seem to move, to whirl and twirl. It’s a solid rock sculpture, cold Romanesque stone, but Jesus seems to be leaping off this massive tympanum in the basilica at Vezelay in Burgundy.
That’s where I spent Pentecost last year, on my biennial pilgrimage retreat. During the weekend workshop on the Holy Spirit, “Le Saint-Esprit,” 25 French pilgrims and I took part in a candlelit service in this narthex. The flickering lights seemed to tickle the risen Christ into even more vigorous dancing. The Holy Spirit was indeed “poured out.”
This Sunday, Pentecost, I will worship and preach with the good folks at La Selva UCC. Ministers wear red stoles on Pentecost for the tongues of fire. But I of course will wear my Blue Theology stole and speak of the Spirit poured out. It’s a water day too. In Acts it says 3000 were baptized that day.
“Il vint du ciel un bruit comme celui d’un soufflé violent …”
“There came from heaven the blowing of a violent wind…”
“Des langues qui semblaient de feu….Ils furent tous remplis d’Esprit Saint..”
“Tongues of fire….they were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
“Je repandrai de mon esprit de tout chair..”
“I will pour out my spirit on all flesh.”
Richard Rohr says, “Our common metaphors for the Holy Spirit all honor and point to a kind of flow experience: living water, blowing wind, descending flames and alighting doves.”
Pentecost is a day of flow. Spirit poured like water. Wind and fire swirling and curling. Blowing, flowing, moving, pouring.
May the Spirit flow in and through……
I write another weekly column, “Building Blocks.” This week it’s about pews – their surprising history, sleeping in them and taking them out to have a church trapeze. Check out http://dalerominger.squarespace.com/building-blocks-by-deborah-str/