Watch now: Sunday Worship for Pentecost (May 31, 2020) and A Pentecost Lament

Watch: Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe leads worship for the Pentecost with hymns, prayers, readings from the Acts of the Apostles and  John’s Gospel, and a reflection from Canon Carrie Schofield-Broadbent.

Below the video, see the text of Canon Carrie’s “A Pentecost Lament”


A Pentecost Lament

May 31, 2020
The Rev. Carrie Schofield-Broadbent

God, the world is on fire.
But it feels more like the fires of Gehenna,
where our ancestors in faith burned their trash,
more than it feels like the fires of Pentecost.

Injustice feels so heavy.
The sins of humanity weigh us down.
For some of us, it feels like a weight on our chest, making it hard to breathe.
For some of your children, Lord, it is a weight that has choked the life out of them.

There is so much to fear.
I fear a virus that I can’t see, yet whose reach has upended the lives of your people.
I struggle to learn to live in a world where hugs are hazardous and raising our voices together in song in the same room is a public health danger.

I miss my family and friends so much that tears fall on this page.
And yet I remember that this could be so much worse.

I try to force gratitude.
I can’t feel it now, which brings me some measure of shame and guilt.

It’s a familiar feeling to have so many emotions crowded in the space of my heart,
vying for attention.
For now, I’ll leave a corner free for gratitude and trust that we’ll meet up when the time is right.

Because, with a voice as loud as sadness,
Rage also demands my attention.

I am angry because your black and brown people are not treated fairly.
I am angry because they fear for their lives in so many ways because of the colors of their skin.
I am angry because we were all born into a sinful world where racism, prejudice, and systemic, structural injustice aren’t just left to its own devices – they’re fed, nurtured, and encouraged in ways I can’t even understand right now.

I am afraid that I am part of the problem
I am afraid I don’t have enough stamina, courage, or wisdom to do the work that is mine to do
of learning, unlearning and understanding,
and asking you to heal that racism in me that I cannot even see.

We need so much from you right now, God.
I need you so much right now.

Breathe your Holy Spirit of peace into our hearts.
Not just into the open hearts, asking for your peace,
But breathe it also, with all your might, into the cold corners of hearts that don’t feel a need for peace.

Breathe your Holy Spirit of peace
into all of those places in our society where racism has taken root.
Breathe your Holy Spirit of peace
into the places where we can’t even see one another’s humanity.
Breathe your Holy Spirit of peace
into every place of entitlement, self-righteousness, misguided loyalties, and selfishness.

God, we need so much from you right now.
God, we need so much of you right now.

Breathe your Holy Spirit of peace
into the homes and hearts of those who mourn and grieve.
Breathe your Holy Spirit of peace
into places where fear abides.
Breathe your Holy Spirit of peace
into the lives of your people who are sick.
Sick in body, sick in spirit, and just sick of all the weight of injustice and sin.

God, we need so much from you right now.
God, we need so much of you right now.

Even as the world groans with sickness and sin.
Even as I groan in sadness and rage.
I trust in you.

I know you are big enough
to hold all of this in your loving hands.
I know you are close enough
to dwell even in the furthest parts of my heart.
I know you are strong enough
to see us through this storm.

For you are the God who brings order out of chaos.
You breathed your Spirit over creation and made order in our world.
You are a God who liberates captives, who calms stormy seas, who raises the dead to life.
I put all my trust in you.

Thank you for being with me always,
Even in fear, even in rage.

Thank you for not placing limits on my emotions and letting me bring it all to you,
All of my unrefined, unedited feelings.

I will trust you always.
Even when the order you bring out of the chaos is not what I expect.
Even when the Kingdom you bring shatters things that I’ve clung to
Even when life changes.
Even when the status quo is upended.

I will trust you always.
Even when your Holy Spirit feels like the rush of a violent wind.
Even when I’m confused.
Even when I’m scared.

I will trust you always.
For you are the peace which passes all understanding.

  • Virginia NAGEL

    Carrie, that’s beautiful!


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