Dear Hyde Park Family,

Pop quiz, pop culture fans: What do Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Fiddler on the Roof, and Wayne’s World have in common? How about this: in each film, a main character turns to the camera and addresses the audience.

The technical description for this script writing device is the removal of the “Fourth Wall,” the presumed, invisible filter through which the audience observes the story. Normally, action takes place within “three walls” of a set, and the fourth is implied. But when a character notices the audience and draws them in through dialogue, that fourth wall is torn down, and the audience becomes part of the story.

Now what does this have to do with Pentecost Sunday? I’ve often said that Pentecost is my favorite Sunday of the year. Whereas Christmas and Easter have become heavily commercialized by retailers, Pentecost remains the church’s day. You can’t buy a Happy Pentecost card, decorate your yard with inflatable tongues-of-flame lawn ornaments, or peruse ad circulars for Pentecost Day sales.

But I also like Pentecost because it breaks down the Fourth Wall of the biblical narrative. We might observe the rest of the Bible from a comfortable distance, but not so in Acts. We don’t live in Old Testament times, when God’s voice was clearly audible in burning bushes. We don’t live in gospel times, seeing Jesus face to face as the Word made flesh.

When Pentecost happened, God was revealed in spirit and power, in subtlety and strength, just the way we experience God today. And at that precise moment, God the Divine Screenwriter turned toward the camera, peered through the Fourth Wall that separated us from the ancient story and said to us, “This is your story now.”

We are the living embodiment of the ongoing story of Pentecost. It is now a story about us, living into the unfolding work of God’s power, wind and flame, to the farthest reaches of the earth.

Join us this Sunday for the celebration of Pentecost, as we worship the God who is invisible but active, subtle yet strong, almost imperceptible, but very, very real. We will conclude our Surprise! worship series with a sermon titled “The Ultimate Surprise Party.”

Together, let’s experience the power of the Holy Spirit.

Grace and Peace,


The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist

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