A thought for Pentecost

‘Suddenly there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind. It filled the entire house. A tongue, as of fire, rested on each of the disciples. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages. The gospel was preached to all the world’ (see Acts 2:1-4; 5-13).

The events of Pentecost lit the fire which took the gospel spread round the Mediterranean world. A mighty wind blew, not only in Jerusalem, but all the way to Rome. More than this down through the centuries it blew across the world to wherever city, town or quiet place to wherever we are reading those words. Even in these strange times those words have the capacity to set us all on fire.

Pentecost comes from the Greek word for ‘five’. It was an old Jewish Feast, 50 days after Passover, celebrating the gathering of the Spring harvest. For us Pentecost occurs on the 50th day after Easter.

Luke is trying to give us an insight into this world changing, extraordinary event, a strange time of its own. The coming of what Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit, when God breaks in on our lives, and in this all is changed. Ordinary frightened men and women, leading a humdrum, dull life, stil reeling from the events of Easter are totally changed. What they found is what we can find today in the same power, that God is reach out to us, drawing us into a relationship of unconditional love.

The Holy Spirit, God, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. God comes to meet us in differing ways: in the form of Jesus, whom the disciples could see and touch, share a meal with, listen to. But now God comes, in the events Luke recounts, to them, and to us today, in another way – not limited by space and time, but present to everyone, everywhere, always! If Jesus is the visible form of God, the Holy Spirit is the opposite. The Spirit dwells deep within our hearts, and operates from deep within us. So, although we never see the Spirit, we do experience movements of the heart that draw us toward God. That is enough to assure us that we possess the Spirit, or even better, that the Spirit possesses us.

The early Christians gave us the images of the Holy Spirit which we still hold to today. They reach out to us donw the years. Their best image was human breath: if a person is breathing, they are alive. If they are not breathing, they are dead. So ‘breath’ was understood as the great source of life. Thus, God is said to breathe the breath of life into the nostrils of Adam, so that he becomes a living being (Genesis 2:8). When Jesus wants to give his disciples the Holy Spirit, he breathes on them (John 20:22). This indicates that now God is inside us, like life-giving air, enabling us to live the life of God. The same thing happens in the valley of bones in Ezekiel (37:1-14).

We can feel the Spirit working in us. When we are pushed to kindness, to being constructive, or forgiving or compassionate, that’s the Spirit at work in our hearts.
When we settle down to pray, that is the Spirit bringing you into the world of God.

When we take up a demanding task because we feel it is the right thing for us to do, that is the Spirit.

When we are searching with others for the best thing to do in a difficult situation, that is the Spirit using us all as a spokespersons.

When we find yourself watching out for the needy, that’s the Spirit.

When we protest injustice or falsehood, that’s the Spirit protesting in us. Even more so when we band together as one in power.

When we stand for the love expressed in the gospels and try to be inclusive, that’s the Spirit.

When we experience deep-seated joy without any special reason, that’s the Spirit. After all, we have high connections, we belong in the best of company. We are the children of God.

Once we begin to be aware, we can find that the Spirit is everywhere. We begin to attend to our inner promptings. We know to ask ourselves ‘Is this a nudge from the Good Spirit?’

Our lives take on new vitality and cease to be boring and predictable. We become free to dance with the Spirit.

So, on this day or days. Ley us dance. Ours is the power of the Holy Spirit.

He us Risen, Ascended, Glorified and send His promised Spirit. Alleluia

A thought for Pentecost

‘Suddenly there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind. It filled the entire house. A tongue, as of fire, rested on each of the disciples. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages. The gospel was preached to all the world’ (see Acts 2:1-4; 5-13).

The events of Pentecost lit the fire which took the gospel spread round the Mediterranean world. A mighty wind blew, not only in Jerusalem, but all the way to Rome. More than this down through the centuries it blew across the world to wherever city, town or quiet place to wherever we are reading those words. Even in these strange times those words have the capacity to set us all on fire.

Pentecost comes from the Greek word for ‘five’. It was an old Jewish Feast, 50 days after Passover, celebrating the gathering of the Spring harvest. For us Pentecost occurs on the 50th day after Easter.

Luke is trying to give us an insight into this world changing, extraordinary event, a strange time of its own. The coming of what Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit, when God breaks in on our lives, and in this all is changed. Ordinary frightened men and women, leading a humdrum, dull life, stil reeling from the events of Easter are totally changed. What they found is what we can find today in the same power, that God is reach out to us, drawing us into a relationship of unconditional love.

The Holy Spirit, God, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. God comes to meet us in differing ways: in the form of Jesus, whom the disciples could see and touch, share a meal with, listen to. But now God comes, in the events Luke recounts, to them, and to us today, in another way – not limited by space and time, but present to everyone, everywhere, always! If Jesus is the visible form of God, the Holy Spirit is the opposite. The Spirit dwells deep within our hearts, and operates from deep within us. So, although we never see the Spirit, we do experience movements of the heart that draw us toward God. That is enough to assure us that we possess the Spirit, or even better, that the Spirit possesses us.

The early Christians gave us the images of the Holy Spirit which we still hold to today. They reach out to us donw the years. Their best image was human breath: if a person is breathing, they are alive. If they are not breathing, they are dead. So ‘breath’ was understood as the great source of life. Thus, God is said to breathe the breath of life into the nostrils of Adam, so that he becomes a living being (Genesis 2:8). When Jesus wants to give his disciples the Holy Spirit, he breathes on them (John 20:22). This indicates that now God is inside us, like life-giving air, enabling us to live the life of God. The same thing happens in the valley of bones in Ezekiel (37:1-14).

We can feel the Spirit working in us. When we are pushed to kindness, to being constructive, or forgiving or compassionate, that’s the Spirit at work in our hearts.
When we settle down to pray, that is the Spirit bringing you into the world of God.

When we take up a demanding task because we feel it is the right thing for us to do, that is the Spirit.

When we are searching with others for the best thing to do in a difficult situation, that is the Spirit using us all as a spokespersons.

When we find yourself watching out for the needy, that’s the Spirit.

When we protest injustice or falsehood, that’s the Spirit protesting in us. Even more so when we band together as one in power.

When we stand for the love expressed in the gospels and try to be inclusive, that’s the Spirit.

When we experience deep-seated joy without any special reason, that’s the Spirit. After all, we have high connections, we belong in the best of company. We are the children of God.

Once we begin to be aware, we can find that the Spirit is everywhere. We begin to attend to our inner promptings. We know to ask ourselves ‘Is this a nudge from the Good Spirit?’

Our lives take on new vitality and cease to be boring and predictable. We become free to dance with the Spirit.

So, on this day or days. Ley us dance. Ours is the power of the Holy Spirit.

He us Risen, Ascended, Glorified and send His promised Spirit. Alleluia

St Paul and St John the Evangelist, Monklands

Contact details

The Rector:  The Rev PJ O'Maoil Mheana

The Rectory,

44 Gartmore Road

Airdrie

ML6 9BH

Telephone: 01-236-756-550

rector@monklands.church.scot