Canon Maria Tjeltveit
Church of the Mediator, Allentown
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1: 8
“You will be my witnesses.” The Acts of the Apostles begins with this commissioning. The resurrected Jesus gave the apostles a game plan for doing this witnessing: begin in Jerusalem, then go to all Judea, then north to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. But those were pretty general instructions. How were they to know where to go next, as they went out on this pilgrimage of witness?
At a recent clergy day at Sayre Hall, in the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, my eye was caught by the quilt, pictured above, made by the diocesan ECW in 2000. I was thinking of my blog series incorporating the history of the parishes depicted in this quilt. I wondered how all these parishes came to be; how the Holy Spirit moved from place to place in our area inspiring people to form congregations.
Turning my head to an angle, I smiled, thinking that the quilt no longer looked like the stained glass window it is intended to depict, but a children’s board game, with squares to move the pieces. So the Holy Spirit moved people in one place and then another to be witnesses by forming congregations.
We may not know the game plan but can we go on pilgrimage trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide us and empower our witness?