Holy Love: Fresh Wind Blowing #1

​In order to embrace the significance of LGBTQ+ inclusion, we must understand that it is part of something larger that God is bringing to pass on the earth today—a new pentecost.  A fresh wind of the Spirit is blowing, and we are called to raise our sails and become part of the movement.  I have previously written about this in my book, ‘Fresh Wind Blowing,’ and to explore the larger context of what God is doing on the earth today, you may want to have this book and read it prior to ‘Holy Love.’ [1]

I join a large number of people who, for the past twenty years or so, have become convinced that we are living in a pivotal moment in history, a new axial age, what some are calling a “great emergence.”  We did not choose to be alive today, but as followers of Christ, we are responsible for living in alignment with the new things God is doing.  The movement is global and pervasive of all aspects of life.  [2]

As with similar previous times in history, the invitation to be co-creators with God comes in a whirlwind of complexity, complete with challenges by status-quo imperialists for whom change is always threatening. [3]. If you had asked Martin Luther, “How’s it going?” upon seeing him leaving the Diet of Worms, he would not have said, “Great, it’s the beginning of the Reformation!” He would more likely have said, “Not so good.  They just excommunicated me, and some intend me more harm.” [4]

Living in a new pentecost is risky because our involvement occurs before we know how others (including longstanding friends and colleagues) will react.  Living in a new pentecost means radically seeking to live for “God alone” and being willing to leave (or to be expelled from) groups from whom much of our former identity and affirmation came.  Living in a new pentecost is in keeping with Jesus’ call to put our hands to the plow and not look back (Luke 9:62).  Living in a new pentecost is a leaving/cleaving experience inspired by a vision of a greater good and enacted by a deliberate practice of the better.

Living in a new pentecost is not a compulsion, it is an invitation.  As it has always been, it is a choice that God lays out before us (e.g. Deuteronomy 27-30), culminating in the necessary call to “Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies because the Lord your God marches with you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).  Living in a new pentecost means deciding that your soul belongs to God, and not to anyone or anything else.


     (1) Have you sensed a “fresh wind blowing”? If so, how?  If not, how did this post awaken you to it?

     (2)How can you raise your sails so that the Spirit can fill them and make you part of the new thing God is doing today?

[1] Steve Harper, ‘Fresh Wind Blowing: Living in God’s New Pentecost’ (Cascade Books, 2013).  It is available in paperback and ebook formats.  The book is part of The New Monastic Library series, books devoted to taking ancient principles and practices and applying them to contemporary renewal in the society and church.

[2] There are many ways to see the pervasive nature of the new pentecost.  I call your attention to five illustrations of it: (1) The Wild Goose Festival, (2) The New Poor People’s Campaign, (3) The Center for Action and Contemplation, (4) Pace ë Bene, and (5) the New Monasticism. You can google each one to learn more.  Even more significant are the local, state, and national organizations (civic and religious) daily working in sync with the new pentecost.

[3] My understanding of the inevitability of challenges to change has been greatly shaped by the writing (and some videos) by Dr. Walter Brueggemann.  I note his classic book, ‘The Prophetic Imagination’ and his more-recent one, ‘Tenacious Solidarity.’

[4] I write more about this in ‘Fresh Wind Blowing,’ 2-4.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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