Readings: Acts 2: 1-21, Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b, 1 Corinthians 12: 3b-13, John 20: 19-23
We are pretty ignorant. There is so much we don’t know. For all of our advancements in the world, we are not too smart in dealing with what we have. We fail to put our common sense together in order to get a communal sense and so we fail to find the solutions for many of our crises. One war after the other, one disease after the other, one failed relationship after the other and we continue to think that we have it all together and that we can do anything. We cannot find the engine that drives a seed to suck up nutrients, let alone create an engine that will do the same thing even if it is left for millennia to stand by idly until mixed with water, soil and heat; yet we think the world owes us something because we have considered ourselves to be divine.
There is so much that we don’t understand, yet when we dwell in the presence of the One who does understand everything, we realise the significance of what we do understand. In the presence of the King of Glory, we understand that community is more important than philosophy. In the presence of the lover of our souls, we understand that war exists because there exists a conflict of opinion, not a conflict of fact. In the presence of the Prince of Peace, we understand that unity is more important than control. In the presence of the Spirit of life, we understand that compassion is more important than justification and mercy is more important than winning. In the presence of the Lord of hosts, we understand that we have the greatest gift in all of creation because we have the gift of choice and the greatest choice we can ever make is the choice to love.
This is what Pentecost is for those who dwell in the presence of God. It is a day in which we celebrate God With Us. The Holy Spirit opens our hearts and our imaginations to receive the gift we have in Christ, the gift we have in a God who loves us enough to die for us. On Pentecost, we celebrate the pouring out of the Holy Spirit so that the Gospel will be spread. This happens daily as we open our mouths to testify to the work of God and as we testify to the Gospel; the Good News that Christ has made the Kingdom of God available to all people. This happens every day as we show mercy or act out of compassion. This happens every day when we take a hand instead of hold a fist. This happens every day when we forgo our success for the benefit of the success of the whole because that is the only success that will last and the only one we can truly celebrate. This is the reason we are created with limitations because there can be no winners unless we all come across the line at the same time. No-one is more than anyone else, even if one person’s gifts are seen whilst another person’s gifts are not seen. The one who leads the head of the queue is as significant and vital as the one who picks up behind everyone. The ones who provides an opportunity for service is as important as the one who serves. The gift of Pentecost is the gift of the Church and the Church exists when you and I come together to bring the light of Christ into the world and to ensure that we all cross the finish line together. One mind, one heart, one way.