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The Holy Spirit, shown in stained glass as a dove

The Holy Spirit, shown in stained glass as a dove

May this year is packed full of significance for the Christian, as we work our way through:

  • the final days of Christ’s post-resurrection time with his disciples, when he tells them to wait for the gift his Father promised
  • his ascension into heaven, when he promises that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes
  • the coming of that promised gift at Pentecost
  • the mystery of a triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Running through the whole month is the last of these three Persons – the one that is in many ways the most difficult for us to understand. But then, the disciples were more than a bit confounded by the Holy Spirit on the first day it made its full appearance, as were the crowds who found they could understand the different languages the Holy Spirit was leading the disciples to speak. But the listeners couldn’t agree on what was happening. Only one thing was certain: according to The Message’s wonderful translation, “They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on.”

“What does this mean?” This is Pentecost’s enduring question to us. It’s part of the reason why, though the Day of Pentecost is one single Sunday, the Season of Pentecost in our worship lasts a full five to six months every year – we need that much time to even begin to approach that blank, to even begin to find a way to articulate this new and powerful presence of God among us and within us.

Based on a sermon at this link

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