Pentecost is one of my favorite days in the life of the church. I love the story from Acts 2 where the Spirit descends like flames of fire on the disciples, and a congregation is suddenly formed of mixed nationalities. The Spirit crosses our normal barriers and divisions.
I think of the flames of the Spirit descending in different colors, bright orange, red, and blue. It reminds me that the church of Jesus is a diverse gathering of people.
Years ago, one of my mentors said, “Anyone can build a congregation of like-minded people, but it would not be the church of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus is a congregation of people of different backgrounds, languages, nationalities, etc. It takes the Holy Spirit to form a congregation like that.”
There is more to the work of the Holy Spirit than the loud rushing wind and a church gathering that is confused with a drunken mob, there is the quiet on-going work of the Spirit helping us to truly live together in love and unity. This does not destroy our differences, rather it helps us to witness to the world that our new life in Jesus is more important than the things that others think should divide us.
Dwight Judy, in his book, A Quiet Pentecost, tells of over 40 different congregations being transformed by connecting to the on-going work of the Spirit in their life together. Pentecost is more than one day in the life of the church year. Pentecost is the continued work of the Spirit within our life together, shaping and forming us into the body of Christ.
Celebrate the wild, loud, astounding work of the Spirit on Pentecost and continue working with the quiet continued presence of the Spirit in your midst.