On Sunday (20 May) Christians around the world will be celebrating Pentecost. As described in Acts 2:1-31, it is an occasion that commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and other followers of Jesus, and is referred to by many as ‘the birthday of the Church’.
The Revd David Grosch-Miller, immediate-past Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, offers the following reflection:
If Pentecost is the birthday of the Church then balloons and party poppers are a poor substitute for wind and fire. When the Jewish Festival of Pentecost was given a makeover, a disruptive force was released which challenged assumptions, tore down barriers and invited the whole world to dream a new dream. Luke has already given a warning of what is to come when, in the Gospel, he names the female followers of Jesus as the witnesses to the Resurrection. The fact that it has taken the Christian Church the best part of 2000 years to catch on suggests that the Holy Spirit has some work to do to shake us up as we listen to what God is about.