When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Are you ready for Pentecost! The early church was not really ready. How could it be ready, prepared and anticipating of the phenomeon of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost? Can you be ready for people speaking every language in the world and the tongues of fire and the wind of the Holy Spirit?
Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit and had even promised that he would come with power – great power! But you cannot anticipate what you have never experienced. The Holy Spirit moves the church and moves us. It is the Holy Spirit who calls, gathers and enlightens! It is the Holy Spirit whose power through the water of our Baptism, changes our hearts, moves us to faith and now sustains our faith!
If we find it hard to say much about the Holy Spirit we simply need to read the 3rd article of the Apostles’ Creed and its meaning from the catechism. This holiday has not captured the secular market because the business world has evidently not found a way to “market” Pentecost! There are no Pentecost Popsicles or Pentecost parties. This holiday is all ours to celebrate in the Church in an appropriate manner! That’s a good thing and I hope you find a great way to celebrate in your congregation!