Reflection on the Lectionary Sunday 28th May (Pentecost)

Psalm 104 : 24 – 35b; Acts 2 : 1 – 21; 1 Corinthians 12 : 3b – 13; John 20 : 19- 23
The reflection for this week is by Local Preacher, Adam Biddlestone.

Last week, as School Chaplain at Holy Trinity School, I led a R.E. Lesson with Year 4 based on the story of Pentecost. We looked as some of the responses that have been made to the story, including art and music before the children made their own creative response. I rounded the lesson off with the questions, ‘I wonder how the Holy Spirit helps Christians today?’ and ‘I wonder what the Holy Spirit is doing right now?’ Their answers were well thought out, some were fairly predictable and precise whilst others were imaginative and incitive.  A question for each of you, ‘I wonder how you would have answered my two questions?’ 

The story of the day of Pentecost tells how the Holy Spirit appeared dramatically and transformed the followers of Jesus from a group too afraid to set foot outside the room in which they gathered into a powerful team of courageous preachers who preached about Jesus with such a courage, confidence and conviction that each person heard the message in their own language and three thousand of them gave their life to follow Christ in that moment.

The day of Pentecost is not the first time in the Biblical story that the Holy Spirit has appeared dramatically and transformed that which it touched. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came as rushing wind and tongues of fire. Examples include, at Creation where the Spirit moved over the waters, dramatically transforming emptiness and darkness and beginning the order of God’s created world. The ministry of Jesus began when dramatically the heavens opened and the Spirit descended as a dove and Jesus was transformed, ready to be tempted as preparation for ministry on earth.

Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit, promising his disciples they would receive it, ‘to teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.’ (John 14 : 26). So, the promise, as all Jesus’ promises came true, and in the rush of wind and tongues of fire the followers each the gift of the Holy Spirit and as they say, the rest is history.

Whilst we remember and celebrate Pentecost on the 50th day after Easter Sunday, there is a real sense that each day lives are transformed dramatically as the Holy Spirit remains actively at work changing hearts and lives. So, between now and Pentecost next year keep your eyes and ears open to her work in others and in your own life.

Come, Holy Spirit, come,
transform our lives, our church. our community and our world.