I’ve got a wild story to tell you

rothko_no14

All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:1-21)

I read recently that one reason the purple stone in a bishop’s ring is an amethyst is that the Greek word “amethystos” means “not drunk” — an interesting custom apparently derived from this morning’s reading. Don’t know if it’s true, but it sounds good.

“We are not drunk,” says Peter, “but have I got a wild story to tell you!”

As my own diocese continues its search for a new bishop, I wonder if we’ll consider our need for someone to tell the wild story — of the Spirit blowing in our midst and turning everything upside down — as much as we’ll consider our need for someone to maintain our little corner of the institution born on that Pentecost day so long ago.

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