The miracle of Pentecost, the miracle of the Holy Spirit is an issue of relationship with someone who is different. The gift of Pentecost is not the melting of cultures into one culture. It is the ability to hear another, to traverse the divide of differences.
America has adopted the melting pot as an image of what happens with our cultures. I'm a great example of a melted American. My heritage is English, Irish, Scottish, and German. And America has so melted my native backgrounds that I don't really have them anymore. There is a real critique to this melting pot imagine. I lament that my heritage has melted. I'm happy to be an American mutt but when I see and experience other cultures... particularly now in this new wave of immigration, I envy culture a little bit... the beauty of language, the flavors of cuisine, the connection to heritage. And the critique is not just my own – we as a culture have begun to question whether we want more of a salad bowl image instead of a melting pot.
A salad bowl has diversity in it but each part maintains its integrity. Does that make sense? There's something to be said about allowing cultures to maintain integrity while also becoming part of something larger together.
Language isn't the only differences we struggle with. What about our cultural differences or preferences in cuisine? What did you have for dinner last night? How about our political differences? Or the differences in our worldview based on age? Or Gender? Or sexual preference? How about this... are you a night owl or a morning person?
The miracle of Pentecost, the miracle of the Holy Spirit is an issue of relationship with someone who is different. Diversity is incredibly hard. God gave us the Holy Spirit to maintain relationship amidst diversity. The spark of God within us allows us to keep our differences but stay together. How are you seeing this miracle played out in your life these days?
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