Friday, June 06, 2014

Some thoughts at the time of Pentecost...

I have often wondered what the sights and sounds of the first Pentecost were like. Luke describes the scene for us in Acts 2:1-4. He mentions the ‘a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing’. Then there was the sight of ‘what looked like tongues of fire’ that touched each person there. Finally all the people in the room that day, not just the apostles, ‘began to talk in other languages’.  Truly mind-blowing.  No wonder we find some of the crowd that gathered on that day trying to explain everything away by accusing the disciples of being drunk. Their minds could not comprehend what was happening. They wanted to quickly explain it away.
There are times I think that the church today, that’s us, is more like the gathering crowd than the followers of Jesus who were gathered in the room that first Pentecost. We cannot comprehend the working of the Holy Spirit so we play down his importance or we make excuses when it seems like his power is not at work in our lives or in our congregation. Maybe one of the reason people leave the church or are not attracted to join in the church is because we have made it too quiet, too predictable, too safe. If we can learn anything from that first Pentecost it is this. When the Holy Spirit comes the silence is gone.  Our settled ways are upset. All those things we build around us for security and safety are blown away. 
May our Pentecost prayer be:   Holy Spirit, come as wind and blow the dust of death away.  Breathe the gift of life into us. Amen