Last week I traveled with David to Portland to visit family on our first post-vaccination trip. Though to be honest it still felt a bit risky. We wore our masks in all public areas and washed our hands frequently. But it was refreshing to make the long drive south into a slightly warmer climate, and to watch the river-formed landscape unfold before our eyes.
We stayed in the center of the city. It’s still very quiet after a difficult year of pandemic closures and destructive riots. Even so, you can see the tenacity of the human spirit, from the colorful and persistent tent communities of the city’s unhoused citizens, to noisy construction projects promising new economic ventures. It’s both unfamiliar and familiar territory. Portland is miles away, and at the same time it is right next door.
God’s Spirit makes us one. Pentecost, which we celebrate this Sunday is a celebration of connection. As God’s people we are aware of being accountable to our neighbors, and as Jesus said (repeatedly) everyone is our neighbor. So it’s good to travel. As the world stirs into new activity from the enforced retreat of the pandemic, may we reconnect and reaffirm our common life together.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.