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Napkins Rolling Like Tumbleweed

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  • In all of our relationships, we can often point to big, exciting moments as the type of things that brought us closer together.
  • But, for most of our friendships, we're bound by an innumerable amount of smaller, almost mundane moments.
  • Gottman and the Emotional Bank Account
    • That this isn't just couples, but really, any good relationship
    • The more positive moments you have, the more you fill up the account.
    • Has a 5:1 ratio - so lots of little moments has more of a long term impact than say an occasional big thing to happen.
  • Our faith relationship can be like that as well
    • We have mountaintop experiences that overwhelm us, and our Spiritual Bank Accounts can feel very full
    • But over time, more negative moments can spring up. Before long, we feel bankrupt.
    • What is it to have lots of a moments along the way?
  • It's a funny day to reflect on this, because the Acts story is one of the most mountaintop moments we have in the NT
    • Rushing winds, fires upon heads, being accused of drunkenness. This sounds like the after college trip you took with your pals, and it probably had the same long term way of connecting people to each other.
    • It was a moment that everyone could see that something significant has occurred... and that it wasn't only to the locals, but for nationalities from all over.
    • This becomes a storyline that defines us to this day: that the Spirit manifested itself amongst us.
  • But what was it like the next day?
    • Like the festival after the final song ends? Wads of paper listlessly rolling across trampled and browned grass?
    • Hungover from the excitement, did those in the crowds start back to work?
    • Maybe the vibes lasted for a little longer, but how do you get back to that moment?
  • It seems like Jesus was already planning for how to manage coming down off the mountain when we told the disciples about the Holy Spirit's arrival
    • The disciples wanted to see more - needed some more mountaintops: if we can see GOD, then we'll be real set.
    • Jesus tries to explain that if you've witnessed Jesus, you've witnessed God too, but as a just in case, he was going to talk to God, and the Spirit would be here.
    • Mentions the "paraclete" - an advocate, but I really like Eugene Peterson's translation of Friend.
    • Someone to walk beside you, have a bank account with - it might not always be big things (remember, Paul mentions that when we can't figure out what to pray for, the Spirit speaks for us... that's a good turning inward, and building a spiritual bank account).
  • When we think about the Easter moment becoming a movement, eventually the distance between Resurrection gets further and further away. So then we're thinking about the everyday. And Pentecost is a last Holy Day before the long period of Ordinary Time - a time of growth, verdancy, life.
  • This mountaintop moment gives us some excitement, but it also gives us a way to keep building along the way.
  • So what's that? It's really living life with a Friend.


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