Reflections for Pentecost Sunday’s bulletin …
Today we are observing Pentecost Sunday.
This is a holy day with ancient roots that run deep into the spiritual soil of our religion, while offering us a fresh vision for what life and faith might mean now and in the future.
Pentecost is a holy day that we share with our Jewish friends.
In ancient times this feast coincided with the spring harvest festival, and it was a time to gather in the crops before the hot dry summer burnt the fields brown.
By this stage seven weeks had passed since Passover, another great Jewish festival. Those 49 days—7 weeks each of 7 days—gave rise to the idea that day #50 was worth celebrating. A week of weeks had passed, and indeed that is what this holy day is called in the Jewish religion: Shavuot, The Festival of Weeks.
For us as Christians, the Great Fifty Day of Easter finish today.
In the shops Easter has long since been forgotten. The hot cross buns have disappeared from the shelves and the chocolate bunnies have vanished.
But in the church we have been busy teasing out just what kind of difference Easter makes in our lives here and now.
At Easter, God said NO to fear, hate and death.
At Easter God said YES to hope, love and life.
Today as we conclude the fifty days of Easter we pause to think about how our lives, our community and our world might be transformed for the better if we took seriously how God responded to the death of Jesus.
God took everyone by surprise at Easter time. Nobody saw this coming.
At Pentecost we celebrate another time when God took everyone by surprise.
Today we celebrate the presence of God among us, within us and between as the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit.
This is not about religious party tricks.
It is about the love that throbs at the very centre of the universe being active in our own lives. Every day. Every moment. In good times and in bad times.
That is the ultimate meaning of Easter, and that is the big, exciting and transformative truth into which we baptise Lottie this morning.