Pentecost Sunday – Year C
On July 4, 1776, the members of the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia signed the Declaration of Independence. With this action, the American Revolution was launched and a new nation was born. It is ironic that on that very day George III, King of England, made this entry in his diary: “Nothing of any importance happened today.”
On the day of Pentecost, in the year A.D. 30, 120 followers of a man named Jesus were gathered together in Jerusalem (Acts 1:13-15).. Suddenly the Spirit of God filled each one of them and marked them with tongues of fire. On that day the Church was born. But no historian of the time saw anything significant in that event.
Those 120 disciples were just a handful of rather ordinary men and women, a few fishermen, a couple of housewives, a former tax collector, a few farmers and some servant girls. Yet through these ordinary people God built a Church which has lasted now for over 2,0000 years. How did they do it? What happened to those 120 follower in the year 30 A.D. on the day we call Pentecost? Those 120 followers came in contact God’s Spirit, or the Holy Spirit.
Today is just as important as Christmas, just as important as Easter, just as important as the festival of the Ascension, but for some unknown reason, this festival, this holiday in the church year goes by almost unnoticed. Why is that? Maybe Pentecost doesn’t get so much attention because we have not found a way to commercialize it, we don’t turn Pentecost into a culture extravaganza , or into a national holiday, so it goes unnoticed.
But, this festival, this holiday is very important for the life of the church, for your life and mine. The Spirit of God is not something we should fear, nor something we should ignore, but the Holy Spirit is God’s presence in this world. It is the same presence that was moving over the face of the earth when God created this world in which we live. It is that same presence that took the form of a baby born in a manger in Bethlehem, it is the same spirit of God that walked filthy roads on earth for 33 years, teaching, healing, proclaiming the love of God for all people. It is the same Spirit that filled all who were in the upper room with the power to proclaim.
The Spirit of God comes to us in our Baptism, and remain with us, calling us to worship, bringing us to service, gathering us together as a body, enlightening us about the truth of God and continually making us holy before God. All this happens day in and day out in our lives. This spirit is quietly at work each day you live. The Spirit is there with you as you plant your corn, beans and oats. It is there with you as you manage your business, as you raise your family, as you work for another person. This spirit of God is there in all that we do. The Holy Spirit brings his power into our lives in a quiet way.
The power of the Holy Spirit was brought into the world this day over 2000 years ago, and that power is still present today through us and within the church.
Dear friends! It is a time to open up to the mind-blowing, heart-warming, life-changing power of God. Today let us let the power of God invade the body, inflate the mind, swell the soul, lift the Spirit and make us more than we ever imagined. For the Spirit of God make you young when you’re old, and it’ll make you live even when you die. The power and presence of the Spirit will disturb, delight, deliver and lift. When God sends forth the Spirit, “the whole face of the earth is renewed.” When God sends forth the Spirit chaos is changed into creation the Red Sea opens up to a highway of freedom. When God sends forth the Spirit: A young woman says “Yes”. Jesus is born and life is never the same.
When God sends forth the Spirit amazing things happen: barriers are broken, communities are formed, opposites are reconciled, unity is established, disease is cured, addiction is broken, races are reconciled, hope is established, people are blessed, and church happens.
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.