“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
On Pentecost, we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem. The remarkable story of Pentecost in Acts of the Apostles is recounted in Sunday’s first reading. In the passage from John’s Gospel, Jesus fulfills his promise to send the help of the Holy Spirit to his disciples, empowering and encouraging them to continue his reconciling work throughout the world: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you… do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
Pentecost recognizes the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. The Gospel reminds us that the Church’s calling, as the body of Christ animated by the Holy Spirit, is to be a reconciling presence of Christ’s peace in the world. It reminds us, too, in an age replete with conflict and the political manipulation of truth, that the way of life for Christians is clear: to be agents of peace, to be the reconciling presence of Christ in the world. “You know [the Spirit of truth], because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”
The Day of Pentecost is identified in The Book of Common Prayer as one of the feasts that is “especially appropriate” for Baptism (p. 312). “Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?” People: “We will, with God’s help.”
—Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
Fr. Henri Nouwen reflects on the verse: “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
Even without the fireworks, today’s Gospel reading offers insights into conflict and community. Read Pat Bennett’s reflection in Spirituality of Conflict.
A Blessing for Pentecost Day by Rev. Jan Richardson: “…to bear this blessing, you must first take yourself to a place where everyone does not look like you or think like you…”
Bet you didn’t know that The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, prays in tongues each morning.
A Caribbean medley of traditional favorites for Pentecost by The Grace Thrillers.
This beautiful collection of contemporary Asian art for Pentecost includes media from Batik to Ikebana, including oils, stencil, stained glass, collage, and papercut.
ECVA Pentecost Photography Exhibition guest curator Catherine D. Kerr asks: Where does your camera help you to see God in the world around you? (You may recognize a contributor or two!)