Maybe Christmas? Or Easter? I gotta say, hands down, my favorite is Pentecost!
I love that the whole church (120 people or so) was “all together in one place.” Pentecost happened in community, not just to an individual.
I love that “they all were filled with the Holy Spirit.” All means all: Men and women and children. Poor and rich. Educated and non-literate. I just love this tendency of the Holy Spirit to be so non-discriminating!
I love that Pentecost is not subtle; it’s so in your face. The roaring wind of the Spirit breathing life into this new body; the tongues of fire resting on each one like a life-sized candle flame, getting everyone fired up!
I love that “there were pious Jews from every nation under heaven” present – meaning from every people- or language-group, representing the whole then-known-world.
I love that they are likely immigrants, multicultural Greek-speaking citizens of the Roman empire living in Jerusalem, not just visitors or pilgrims passing through.
I love that each one hears the good news in their unique, native language. This is not the glossolalia/individual prayer language of 1 Corinthians 12.
Neither is Pentecost the undoing of Babel (which took one language, and dispersed/divided people into many languages). There is not one unifying language at Pentecost, but there is one voice, one uniting story heard in many culturally distinct ways. Everyone is included. Did I mention I love the non-discriminating tendency of the Holy Spirit?
I love that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus, who though absent in body is still and forever God-with-us, which means no matter how bleak it looks, the coming of Christ’s “kin-dom” (not a typo), the reign of heaven on earth, cannot be stopped.
I love that the Spirit not only ruffles some feathers and afflicts the comfortable, but as “another Paraclete” (Jesus being the first) the Spirit comes alongside to comfort the afflicted as an Advocate, Helper, Companion and Friend.
I love that the church is Spirit-breathed and Spirit-dependent, not Heidi-dependent, not 3-year-plan orwritten-mission-vision-values dependent.
And the honest truth? Back in the day when I wore a clergy robe, I loved the red Pentecost stole the best!
Mostly I love that we will gather at Exeter House this Sunday at 1pm to celebrate Pentecost – with every expectation that the Holy Spirit will show up again, empowering us to…
Be the church!