Pentecost – the Birthday of the Church

Cue the balloons and the Happy Birthday songs – it is time to celebrate! Our church was born over 2000 years ago, when the Holy Spirit blew into the world and filled the disciples with joy and inspiration. We call this special day Pentecost, and this year we celebrate on May 28th.

So, what actually happened on Pentecost? It was 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus on Easter, and 10 days after Jesus’ ascension into Heaven. The disciples were all gathered in a room. Suddenly there was the sound of rushing wind, and tongues of flame appeared over each head. The Spirit filled the disciples, and they began to speak God’s word in all the languages around. People who observed this were amazed – how did these simple men of Galilee start speaking in all these languages and telling of the wonders of God and the resurrection of Jesus? From this day onward, the disciples started moving throughout the world, telling the stories and starting churches. They were not always welcomed; in fact, they were often challenged and threatened, but the Holy Spirit gave them the courage and inspiration to keep trying.

The story of Jesus does not end with his time on earth or with the Disciples who were with him. It continues in the lives of those who believe in him. We are not just to be spectators to a great story. We too are part of the story – God acting in us, God living in us. Our faith may be 2000 years old, but God is still speaking to us today and still giving us the courage to act with compassion and to speak up for what we know to be true.

I am reminded of the words of the hymn by Daniel Iverson:

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Communion table decorated for Pentecost

As we put on our red shirt, blow up the balloons, light the candles on the cake, and sing Happy Birthday – let us also ask God to fill us with Holy Spirit too. We want God to break down our defenses, melt away our fears, mold us in the people God wants us to be, and then fill us with the Holy Spirit! We too want to be able to change the world.


From “The Window” newsletter, May 2023





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