Pentecost 9 June 2019

Vicar’s Reflection: PENTECOST, 9 June 2019

Happy birthday everyone! This is Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church! Today we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the first disciples who were instructed by Jesus at his Ascension to wait to receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. The wait was over on that first Pentecost (50th day after Easter), when by signs of fire, a rushing wind and boldly worshipping God in different languages they burst out of their hiding place into the open streets and plazas of Jerusalem. This event is linked with the story in Genesis 11 of the Tower of Babel. In that story the people used their powers of communication and collaboration to build a tower and to claim God-like powers. God’s judgement on them resulted in a confusion of their languages the people being scattered. The lesson of this story is that we humans, however clever cannot make ourselves equal with God, nor should we misuse language and collaboration for the oppressive power and control of others. At its worst this is fascism or totalitarianism. Pentecost is seen as something of a reversal of this situation. Through the Holy Spirit, the power of language and working together as disciples of Christ our powers are put to Godly use. The teaching and example of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit guide and help us to over-come the wrong use of power and enable Christians to create and inspire a radically different type of community. This is the work of the church. Happy birthday! Alex Czerwonka

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