This story of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit, of receiving the divine help we need to do the very difficult work of growing equity and ending racism, is an ongoing journey and always being continued…
Many people today are asking, as the early followers of Jesus did, “What can we do?” St. Peter replied that the answer was to repent and be baptized, “and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” We are not saying that to do the work of antiracism everyone needs to repent, for clearly BIPOC people in the U.S. and around the world have been the victims of racism, colonialism, and white supremacy, not the benefactors at all! Those who need to repent are all who perpetuate and/or benefit from these wrongs, from white privilege and racist practices, whether willfully and actively or by their silence and complicity.
Nor are we saying that everyone needs to be baptized (though if you want to follow Jesus, it IS a very blessed, joyful, life-giving sacrament). My prayer is that everyone will hear the call of God and receive the gift of the Spirit for themselves, their family, their friends, and community. The life the people of The Way entered into after the Holy Spirit came to them was one of togetherness, teaching, sharing, and giving. They all prayed for, protected, and provided for each other “as any had need.” And “they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.” (Acts 2:44-47)
Included in this blog are a number of “art sheets” celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit into the lives of the early Jesus followers and into our lives to help us. Other images relating to the just, loving, bold community of The Way and to our own antiracism story are available in the previous blog, “The Coming of the Holy Spirit.” Feel free to print them out and color or paint them. Send us copies of your images if you’d like (we’d love to see them!) Or send photos of your own original artworks on any of these topics relating to doing justice, growing equity, and dismantling racism: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s start a movement with our antiracist art and self-expression!
And they were—as we are trying to be—empowered to live lives of peace, justice, mercy—antiracism and equity—because of the grit and audacity, strength and power given to them by the Holy Spirit.