Pentecost Alert!! Wear your fire colours on Sunday to church. Let's see how much Holy
Spirit-fire we can see on Sunday as we gather for worship!
Come, O Hoy Spirit...set the church on fire;
strike it as the lightning hits a posing spire.
Burn away the structures and consume the sham
of our holy systems:
Come in Jesus' name!
So goes the first verse of hymn 23 in More Voices. The author, The Rev Fred Kaan, who died almost 10 years ago at aged 80, was the foremost of a new generation of post-second world war hymn writers who expressed the dreams of an emerging new humanity. His theology reflected a God committed to a world crying out to be set free from every form of injustice. Fred's poetry centred on a Jesus who embraced the whole of creation and excluded no one and nothing from his love. We have many of his hymns in our United Church hymn books and sing them regularly at AUC.
Kaan was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands. His teenage experience of Nazi occupation never left him. His parents were deeply involved in the resistance movement. His family hid weapons under their floor; and they successfully hid a young Jewish woman and a political prisoner who had escaped from Belsen.
His passion for the Spirit of God - the Spirit of love, compassion and justice - gave him his life's work and his reason to live. He was what I would call a Pentecost person.
Pentecost is my favourite Christian festival! It is so full of life, and possibility. Let those Pentecost winds blow and those fires burn. They are not sent to destroy us but to renew us as God would have us be.
Come, O Holy Spirit ...
Blow away the cobwebs of our stubborn past.
Come, send flying from us myths unfit to last.
Wind of change refresh us and disturb our calm;
teach us what true love is, take our hearts by storm! (Verse 2 MV 23)