Yr A ~ Pentecost ~ John 20:19-23
Every year around this time we have a celebration. We celebrate the year of Christian spiritual formation that our children have had, and we celebrate the teachers who engaged in this wonderful ministry. We celebrate the birth of the United Church which happened on June 10th 1925. And we also celebrate the Day of Pentecost.
Pentecost is one of my favourite liturgical days of the year. The story is so powerful, so vibrant, and so desperately relevant for the church today. The usual text for Pentecost is Acts 2. It’s the story of how the followers of Jesus were fearfully hiding out in an upper room when a sound like a rushing wind filled the place and the Holy Spirit was made manifest and danced like tongues of fire as everyone in the room was filled with the Spirit.
And then that Spirit so inspired and moved them that they were compelled out of their room and into the street where they shared their experience of God’s Presence with everyone they met and people deeply resonated with their sharing.
The day of Pentecost was nothing less than the birth of the Christian church. Those dead and defeated disciples were filled with the Spirit and were resurrected to new life – and from that beginning with those few followers a religion that about 1/3 of the world’s population now identifies with was launched. The Spirit of Pentecost is very powerful!
So if that’s such a great and important story why aren’t we focusing on it today? My answer is that as wonderful as it is it doesn’t speak to everyone. It’s kind of like Paul’s lightning bolt conversion experience on the road to Damascus – it’s a great story about awakening to God’s Presence but not everyone gets struck by lightning in their faith journey. Did you? Do you have a ‘fireworks and choirs of angels moment of awakening’ story? I don’t. My story has been more of a slow steady burn. read on