The Coming of the Spirit
- Acts of the Apostles 2:1-21
- Genesis 11:1-9
- Psalm 104:25-35, 37
- Romans 8:14-17
- John 14:8-17, (25-27)
Although Pentecost marks a dramatic event in the life of the emerging Christian community, references to the work of God’s Spirit are found throughout Scripture. In the Hebrew Bible, the word ruach, which stands for wind, breath, or spirit, is used in accounts for creation.
We hear this in all of our readings today:
- If we choose to reading the Old Testament lesson, we hear the story of the Tower of Babel, when the people of the earth were dispersed in confusion after attempting to reach the “heights of God.” A rush of wind turns them into a “babbling crowd” of misunderstanding.
- The Psalm gives praise to God who created and provides sustenance for all. God’s Spirit is the source of life. Today we sing our praises to God for the gift of God’s life-giving Spirit.
- Paul tells the Christian church in Rome that we cannot truly belong to Christ apart from the Holy Spirit. If we are in the Spirit, we have an indestructible newness of life.
- In today’s Gospel Jesus tells his disciples that they will be able to do even greater things than he has down through the power of the Spirit.
Today we remember that Spirit that reunites us and gives us the peace and joy knowing that we are not abandoned by God, but given the presence of the holy one to be with us always.
- What do you think it felt like to be at the Tower of Babel? In contrast, to be in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost? Or with the disciples when Jesus told them, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father?”
- The Spirit is described as truth, wind, and fire. What do these images tell us about the Spirit? What other images would you use?
- How do you see the Spirit working in your own life (and the world) today?