The Day of Pentecost
“Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” -Acts 2:3 (NRSV)
Among the stories people tell about the human relationship with God, most remind people that God’s vision for how we will care for Creation is far more expansive than we expect or imagine. Pentecost is a story like this. Chapter 2 of the Book of Acts tells a surprising tale involving a particular group of people, a band of ancient Jews who had come to believe a man named Jesus was also God; then watched him die and rise from the grave. Fifty days after the Passover, when it was common among them to celebrate the passing down of God’s law to the Israelites, these followers of Jesus Christ were surprised by a great wind and the Holy Spirit came to rest on them. Other worshipers, who had come from faraway places, were shocked to hear a new story about God in their own languages. Telling the Pentecost story each year reminds Christians that the treasure bestowed by God is not for humans to keep hidden. Each Christian is given the spiritual gifts he or she needs to share this story with people whose languages, cultures and expectations of God vary widely. Like the early followers of Jesus, today’s Christians experience Pentecost as a time of reaching out to the corners of the earth or even past cultural boundaries and proclaiming boldly that God is present to all of Creation.
The Rev. Canon Arienne Davison