Pentecost! It’s bright, blinding our sight, fiery, a bit frightening. It’s loud and clear, sounds heard far and near. It’s for the men sitting in the house, and for all the other men and the children and the women wherever they are in the city. It’s for the whole world. It was for then, it is for now, and forever.
The Holy Spirit of God.
Like a dove of peace descending.
Like a wind blowing.
Like a flame burning.
Energising, emboldening, enlightening.
Effervescent, ever-living, everywhere.
Giving rise to evangelists who spread out like fire throughout the world and down the centuries.
Pentecost: the day when the Lord fulfilled his promise that the Holy Spirit would come.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians about what that might mean for individual believers, in terms of the gifts given to them by God. It seems that he did not wish anyone to get the idea that their particular gift was better than someone else’s. Gifts were a means of showing God’s glory to the world, demonstrating Jesus’ love in the world, all by the power of the Spirit.
“There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are varieties of service, but the same Lord. There are many forms of work, but all of them, in all people, are the work of the same God. In each of us the Spirit is manifested in one particular way, for some useful purpose.” (from 1st Corinthians 12, verses 4-8)
In Durham Cathedral there is a wonderful stained glass window depicting the Transfiguration, another New Testament event which is difficult for human beings to imagine or indeed depict. But that does not stop people trying, through whatever medium they prefer to work in, be that glass, metal, paint or stone … An artist must surely feel delighted when the work of their hands enables others to understand better the mystery of scripture which they were trying to “pin down”.
Talking of pins, and moving to needles, one of the members of St Andrew’s has been using some of her time in lockdown to complete a cross stitch picture. This was the second one of this particular design, being done at the request (maybe even plea!) of someone who saw the original and longed to have it hanging in her own home.
The doves, the bright rays of the sun, the red of the blossoms
– these may turn our thoughts to Pentecost.
The sky, the earth, insects, birds and animals – all part of God’s creation,
the same God whose Spirit is forever
among us and within us.
Thanks be to God for his creation and for the creativity he has given to his people
Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
now and forever