This Sunday we mark Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit among the apostles and followers of Jesus. This is the day we celebrate the birthday of the Church. This is the day the wind of the Spirit blew through the lives of his disciples, transforming them, galvanising them, releasing them from their fears and doubts and driving them out into the world. From this point they were fully equipped to take on Jesus’ instruction that they were to go out into the world, to baptise converts and to teach. From that day, disciples have struggled to take on this injunction of Jesus, and to live it out in the real world. Throughout the centuries, disciples have indeed spread out to the ends of the earth. They have at times suffered persecution, suffering and even death because of their intentional desire to take up this calling, no matter what.
The Church has been in a strange place in recent times. With the doors shut as a public health measure, we have been unable to operate as we normally do, or to take ‘Church’ for granted. We have been shaken out of our complacency that the Church would be there ready and waiting with doors open, when we have the time and the desire to turn up, or to make space for spiritual things in our busy lives. This ‘unprecedented’ time may be an opportunity for the Spirit wind to blow right through us, to give us a new direction, and to shake us up out of our complacency, because the mission imperative set by Jesus still applies. We are to share the good news of the Gospel, of a God whose heart is overflowing love and compassion with those around us in the world. We are commissioned to be the God-bearers to a world that is at times achingly sad and lost.
They say that windy days upset horses, and sends them slightly mad. Wind disturbs and unsettles, and at the very least is an irritation. And so, it should be with the Spirit wind of God that blows through us today. It should unsettle us, disturb us and irritate us. If we take it seriously and open ourselves up to its disturbing, unsettling nature, the Spirit wind of God has the power to reform out spiritual lives, and to drive us to be the God-bearers Jesus called his followers to be before his Ascension.
We celebrate Pentecost as the inauguration of the Church’s mission in the world. Empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are to go out into our neighbourhoods and the wider world—to Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth – as witnesses to the risen Christ.
In peace, Mother Lynda