Pentecost, it’s about the Holy Spirit!

Pentecost is my favorite of all the high holy days. Yes, Advent and Christmas are beautiful, Easter is
glorious, but Pentecost is thrilling… because it’s about the Holy Spirit! The third part of the Trinity (if you believe in the three-in-one God) is that mysterious, hard-to-put-your-finger-on, nebulous, unpredictable, discomforting AND comforting divine spark, or divine ‘something.’

Pentecost – meaning 50 days – is a Jewish festival of Thanksgiving originally for the first fruits of the harvest and later for the giving of the Torah (the first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible). Christianity has appropriated it because of the early disciples’ weird and wonderful experience of the Spirit on the same day. The story tells of bystanders in Jerusalem thinking the disciples must have been drunk; the gathered crowd heard a multitude of languages being spoken by Galileans, who are notorious for being monolingual. What was that? They were under the influence of something more mysterious – the Spirit of God.

There’s a gathering and a scattering happening in this text (Acts 2: 1-21). With Peter’s speech or sermon, the disciples begin a public ministry. This ministry continues to be energized by the Spirit’s indwelling and fueled by the Spirit’s power. It is this public ministry and this Spirit that are still the heart and soul of our church today! That’s why Pentecost is often referred to as the Christian church’s birthday.

There is a vast difference between a cool breeze on a hot sunny day and a hurricane, or between a cozy
winter fire and a raging inferno. Think about some of your experiences of wind and fire – one positive and one negative. When has fire offered comfort and a sense of security? When has wind been a welcome relief? When have you been scared by fire? When have you been scared by wind?

Like the positive and negative of wind and fire, the Spirit can push us where we don’t want to go and
comfort us in times of trouble. I invite you to come to Sunday worship for an unusual and
invigorating experience of the Spirit.

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