The Pentecost celebration is a pivotal moment, both in the Bible and in the Church Calendar. It is so filled with meaning and symbolism that it can take years to unpack its meaning. There is the gift of the Spirit, which empowers God’s people to live the Jesus way and witness to the resurrection life he brings. There is the reversal of the curse of Babel – where human arrogance created division and confusion in the communication of people, Pentecost now gives the ability to communicate across the barriers of language, race and culture. There is the birth of the Church, the Christian community founded on the values and mission of Jesus. There is the symbol of harvest (Pentecost was originally a harvest festival) in which women and men are brought into a saving relationship with God. And there is the enigmatic reference (in Peter’s sermon) to Joel’s “Day of the Lord” which promised a time when God’s justice and mercy would prevail, and God’s Reign would be established on the earth.
But all of these amazing meanings are empty if they don’t have an impact on our lives today. Here is where the good news of Pentecost can be found. We are the recipients of God’s Spirit as much as the first disciples. We can enjoy the deep human connection that God brings, if we will allow the Spirit to lead us beyond our dividedness. We can be part of the community of faith in which we can belong, love and be loved. We can be part of God’s harvest, helping in our own small way to lead others into God’s life, and we can experience what it means to live in God’s Reign as we embrace justice and mercy in our daily lives. The Pentecost experience can be ours today, if we will only open ourselves to God’s Spirit and allow the Spirit to blow us where the Spirit wills (as Jesus says in John 3).
This week we will seek to open our hearts and lives to the Spirit of Pentecost and enter more deeply into the life of God as a result.
To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.