When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Pentecost is a very special and significant festival of the Church. It marks the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and their transformation from frightened and confused people to those who would courageously go out to proclaim the Good News of redemption.
Pentecost is from the Greek word 'Pentekostos', which means 'fifty'. It's the 50th day after the Sabbath of Passover week and in Judaism is called the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:16). That is why there were so many people, of different nationalities, on pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem for the Feast of Weeks.
The ‘outpouring’ of the Holy Spirit on the disciples marks the fulfilment of Christ’s promise to the Apostles that they would be ‘clothed from on high’ and empowered to go out to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
That same Spirit is poured into the hearts of all who accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Christian men and women are anointed by the Spirit; are empowered and gifted by the Spirit to go out and give witness to the truth of the Gospel.
Let us pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all God’s people so that message of ‘plentiful redemption’ [Ps 130] may be proclaimed and celebrated in our communities.
“Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts and minds of your people with the light and truth of God’s love so richly and freely revealed in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.”