Pentecost is a day to celebrate as it’s the birthday of the Christian Church, the day when the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven with a mighty wind carrying tongues of fire. The tongues rested on each one of the disciples and filled them with the Holy Spirit, giving them the skills, the power, the energy to communicate with all those they met and the wherewithal to go out and tell the news to the world to establish the Christian Church. This was the birth of the Church, a pretty amazing birth as the Holy Spirit was breathed into the Church, giving it life and energy.
The Holy Spirit is to the Church as vital as breathing air is to us. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God. Just as we breathe more quickly and more deeply when we need more air, when we excercise or run up the stairs, so we can breathe in the Holy Spirit more deeply when times are tough, both as individuals and as the Church.
We take our deep breaths of the Holy Spirit when we pray, formally and informally. We take deep breaths of the Holy Spirit when we receive Communion, and then we are sent out to be a visible part of the Church out in the world, using whatever gifts we have been given by the Spirit. Gifts given not just fir our benefit, but for making the love of God known beyond the walls of our buildings.
At Pentecost, all we are asked to do is to breathe and then to listen to our breathing as we breathe in air, as we breathe in the breath of God, the Holy Spirit.
The disciples were given that gift at Pentecost. We have all been given that same gift.
Gill Noble, Parish Lay Reader