Thoughts on our Pentecost
The roots of our Pentecost are deep within Judaism. First as the harvest festival where the landed gave thanks for the first fruits and were reminded their land and harvest was God’s way of providing for the poor. And then it became the festival of God’s giving of the Law fifty days after the Hebrew people had been led from slavery to freedom. The law was the way of freedom so that creation might be renewed and humanity restored.
That story continues with the event of the coming of the Spirit and the birth of the church, that diverse group of people which includes us. This story starts with a group of terrified men and women who were dramatically swept up by the Spirit of God and were given the vision, strength, courage and wisdom to continue Jesus’ ministry of living God’s generous and compassionate love for all. This group who hid behind locked doors took the gospel through Persia to India, North Africa and down to Ethiopia, north to Armenia and beyond, and west to Rome. It was tough. Many were martyred.
The story continued in this land with missionaries, some European, most Maori, risking all to offer God’s peace and hope. On our Pentecost we pause and wonder how the Spirit of God might be sweeping us up?