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.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.
And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.
Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.
Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.
No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
God, who as at this time
taught the hearts of your faithful people
by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit
to have a right judgement in all things
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
There are two factors that we can see in the story of Pentecost. In the first place it is the birth of the church. Before the day of Pentecost, the disciples are a group of disciples, hiding in a locked room for fear of being arrested by the authorities. They were frightened, at a loss to make sense of what had happened, not knowing what to do next.
Pentecost arrived, and those same bewildered, frightened disciples stand before the crowd and loudly proclaim what Jesus had done for them. The thing that changes them is the arrival of the Holy Spirit – the presence of the living God in their lives. If we think back two weeks, we remember Jesus saying to his disciples “I will not leave you orphaned, God will send you his Spirit. You are not forgotten.”
The coming of the Spirit is a game changer. God is with us in our lives, in our thoughts and in our prayers. That same spirit is there for ordinary people – to inspire us (think about that word ‘inspire’) to be present with us and to encourage us.
My very best wishes,