Pentecost & "This House"

As we approach Pentecost during COVID-19, it’s hard not to think about the significance of the home for the early church. In Acts 2 it says, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.”   

The spirit of God filled the whole house. Not a church building, but a house.  

In the midst of quarantine life and stay-at-home orders, it feels like the Lord is showing us something about our home, doesn’t it? Many homes have become more than a place to rest and gather, they have become the hub of our daily existence. We get groceries delivered, cook and visit the kitchen often, work at the dining room table, and watch church from our couch. 

When our county went into shutdown and church went “virtual,” we weren’t totally sure how it would go. We started having conversations about how to lead worship, asking how we could encourage worshippers to engage with God in their home.

Back in mid-April, Jen got a text from a coworker about how her mother (in her 90s) was singing all morning about the Holy Spirit being present in their house. Something clicked and fifteen minutes later, Jen sent off lyrics and a possible song outline to Ben and Vince. 

When Ben looked at the lyrics a few days later, he was struck with the importance of keeping the song relevant both for these homebound times AND for a future gathered together in person. “This house” could refer to the listener’s home address as well as our building on Penn Ave: the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is not limited by physical location. Nor is that presence and power limited by our own abilities or inabilities, strengths and weaknesses. 

To emphasize those ideas already present in the lyric draft, Ben moved some words around and added a pre chorus to tie those themes together with the chorus, which was melodically spliced together from different voice memos from Vince, Jen, and Ben.

Unintentionally, that chorus melody mashup collaboration kinda signifies the point of this song: despite all of our individual backgrounds, experiences, and physical distance, the Church is being molded and formed into one body, together even as we remain separate. Covid-19 has not changed the call for unity, even if the details look different. May we all seek to be filled up again as we, like the early church in Acts, patiently wait within our homes for the Spirit of God.

Scripture References
Zeph. 3:17
Acts 2:2-4
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