What is Pentecost and what difference does
it make in our lives today?
Day of Pentecost is the occasion on which pious Jews from
all over the new Christian world gathered to celebrate "The
Feast of Weeks," probably just months after the crucifixion
of Jesus. That Feast was a Jewish festival (all of the first
Christians were also Jews) at which first fruits were offered
to God. On this day, a miracle occurred: tongues of flame
lighted on each person...AND each person spoke their own
native tongue but, miraculously, everybody understood everybody
difference it all makes in my life is that on this same day
the promised gift of the Holy Spirit was given to the Church
(the small Christian faith). I believe that it is that force,
the Holy Spirit, that has powered the Church all these two
thousand years, kept it going, fed us, strengthened us, supernaturally.
in fact, think of Pentecost as the "birth day" of
the Church, because it was on that day that we received the
gift that has made it all possible.
Rev. William A. Kolb
is the Church's celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
It comes from the realization that God's very life, breath
and energy lives in, with and among us. Those who are Christians
experience this life through Jesus because they see the Spirit
so fully manifest in him. If you attend church on Pentecost
Sunday, you will most likely hear read a passage from John's
Gospel (20:19-23). It tells of a visit of the Risen Christ
to the disciples huddled in fear. "Peace be with you," Jesus
says. "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you." After
saying this, Jesus breathed on them and added, "Receive
the Holy Spirit." The breath, the life, of Jesus himself.
We are God-breathed. Pentecost celebrates that reality.
feast day of Pentecost remembers a day not long after Jesus'
resurrection when the energy of the Spirit was poured out
in power upon the Church. It was a unifying Spirit that crossed
the artificial boundaries of language, race and culture.
People could speak and be understood; strangers heard one
another; communion happened. The Spirit breathes peace.
what seems to happen when people allow this divine Spirit
to energize them. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness,
goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. We
call that the "fruit of the Spirit." It's a description
of the qualities of Jesus. That's who we are and whom we
are to become. The celebration of Pentecost moves very
naturally into the following Sunday's celebration of the
Holy Trinity, the unique way that Christians describe our
experience of God. We see the life of the Trinity as descriptive
of the whole of reality: God's pouring out of the divine
life in self-emptying love we call the Father.
God's complete and open receiving and responding to that love we call the Son.
The very awareness of that flow of love between one and the other, which values
it with infinite worth and bliss we call the Spirit.
Yet all is one complete love. That's a way of thinking of God.
that same dynamic is present in our lives, breathing us into
being. For instance, I experience the Trinity and the Spirit
in my relationship with my wife. There is a love that I have
and give to her, and a love that she receives and responds
to by returning to me. But more than that, after thirty years
of marriage, there is something that exists between us, a
reality, a Spirit of love that sees our relationship and
values it profoundly with humility and joy. Sometimes I pinch
myself to be so lucky to live in such love. Love given, received,
and valued. Yet it is all one love. That's breathing the
Spirit of God.
Rev. Lowell Grisham