I will miss the incense on Pentecost morning.
I will miss the white-robed thurifer advancing steadily down the center aisle at the head of the procession.
I will miss the mounting harmonies of the opening hymn, the choir’s voices reaching higher and higher with each verse, the brass joining the organ at a particular point.
I will miss a centuries-old liturgy, carefully orchestrated and beautifully choreographed, designed to celebrate the action of God’s Spirit in making the unimaginable a distinct possibility in human hearts.
I will be in my car this Sunday morning, having just left an inn built in the eighteenth century along the Connecticut River. When 9:30 services for Pentecost Sunday begin in my parish, I will be driving home from a weekend in an area I have visited before.
I will be fresh from two days of long walks and long dinners, musings about how the unimaginable has become a distinct possibility in my life and in the lives of people I know.
Within rooms that speak of history, I will review my own history.
Within sight of the mountains, I will consider the paths my life can take in the months and years ahead.
Most importantly, I will heed the Spirit’s call. I will trust that something better always lies before me.