There are several ways we can understand the feast of Pentecost – the outpouring of the Spirit; the great commission to the apostles; the birth of the church. Yet if we are to respect and honour this feast then we need to become more deeply aware of the two key elements of the Pentecost story.
The first is the extraordinary influence of God’s Spirit on the community of disciples gathered in the upper room. No doubt fearful and unsure, they were surprised and astonished at the sound of wind and the tongues of fire that were made evident. When the Spirit literally exploded into their presence, they found themselves suddenly capable of doing things they could not do before. They found that they themselves had become infused with the fire of the Spirit and now they were able to be in communication with people who literally did not speak their language. Amazingly they were now capable of sharing the Good News with people with whom they had not previously been able to communicate at all.
The second key element is understanding the breadth of the mission the community was being charged with. In the instance of the descent of the Spirit, suddenly they found themselves impelled to proclaim to others what it meant that Jesus was the Good News. No longer able to hold the mission to themselves, they were driven to carry the message of God’s relentless love to the world at large.
Having been baptised into the community of believers, and having been confirmed in the Spirit,
are we impelled and driven to make a difference in the world?
Are we generous enough to give ourselves to spreading the fire of God’s love
in a world as needy as it has ever been?
Are we really willing to carry the fire within us?
Adapted from "Celebration" May 2018 47.5 (CelebrationPublications.org)