Pentecost: Is; Through; May You Be

“Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect …” James 3:2

Remember when then-President Bill Clinton engaged the entire country in the parsing and defining of the verb “to be”? He spoke those now famous words: “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

Few people remember the schism of 1054, but Christians the world over still live with the realities of the split between the church of the East and the church of the West. There was politics involved; but a major sticking point had to do with language as it relates to the Holy Spirit. Does the Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son, or from the Father through the Son?

Pope Francis is in a bit of a bind because of the uncertainty of what he said to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas several days ago. Was it sei – Italian for “you are”, or “sia – Italian for “may you be”?  You are an angel, or May you be an angel … There is a difference.

Can you believe that we human beings quibble over such trivial matters? Or course you do! You have done it yourself – quibbled that is, over something someone said to you or you said to them. What did they really mean? Or … That’s not what I meant at all!

Let’s try to mind our tongue today. And, in anticipation of Pentecost this coming Sunday, let’s listen intently for the Word that really matters – the Word the Spirit utters to us.

A blessed Tuesday.


Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.