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Pentecost 2014

We are indeed a Pentecost people. As you re-visit the Pentecost story, perhaps again and again, allow yourself to truly "be there". Be still. Contemplate how it might have felt.

As with the first disciples, God has chosen us. God keeps choosing us. God's love is never determined by the worthiness of the one loved or by one's response. The Bible speaks of God's love as being steadfast and faithful. To reference Richard Rohr, the biblical God does not love us if we change, but so that we can change. Our "chosenness", rather than to "raise us up a notch," is instead "to lead us through necessary and transformative journeys" so we can know ourselves, and therefore everyone else also, as Beloved of God, and to encourage and support each other in the ever deeper living out of that reality in all of our relationships. Can it really be that simple and clear!

Like the first disciples, we are gifted with the Holy Spirit so that we can share our faith with others. Our lives testify to that often being quite a challenge. Yet faith-sharing is what we do, by word and/or example, aware or unaware. We are being continually invited to ponder how we are being called to witness today to an unfolding faith as The New Story moves us to contemplate anew our place within the Community of All Life.

Pentecost is the day the disciples were empowered by the Holy Spirit to leave the safe enclosure of the upper room and share their faith beyond those walls. What are the "safe enclosures" we are being called beyond? How willing are we? What would that look like?

Perhaps only after 50 days (or many years!) of contemplating the wisdom of the risen Christ can we even begin to be truly ready for such great outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Closing reflections:
  • How is Pentecost, then and now, making a difference in your daily living?
  • How do you experience the Holy Spirit in your own life? How have you experienced the Spirit's gifts of wisdom,  courage and understanding? Or the Spirit's fruits of joy and peace?
  • What about the more elusive symbols of fire and wind? How do you experience those dimensions in your life?
  • Notice moments when you accept the challenge to truly trust in the Spirit as you move forward. Those early disciples were astonished, perhaps we/you may be as well!

Submitted by Sheila Leonard, PBVM

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