When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place… All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:1-3 This Sunday is Pentecost. The day gets its name from an ancient Jewish harvest festival celebrated 50 days after Passover. The name ‘Pentecost’ literally means ‘the 50th day’. But Pentecost means so much more than just the end of another Passover, or in our case Easter season. On Pentecost, we celebrate the creative power and presence of God being given to the community of Jesus’ followers in the person of the Holy Spirit.
The coming of the Holy Spirit is a really big deal. It’s been said that if Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead both the spiritual movement that he started and the community of his first followers would have died with him. In the same way, if the Holy Spirit hadn’t come and filled those same followers 50 days later they never would have left Jerusalem and everything Jesus had shown them and taught them and done for them would have died with them.
The Spirit has empowered generation after generation of God’s people to make his goodness known in the world, and so, despite often violent repression and resistance to the message of Jesus Christ, and the frequent missteps and flat-out sinfulness of Christian people over the years, the world-wide community of Jesus’ followers has continued to thrive and grow and to this day continues to make known to the world the goodness and love of God in Jesus Christ.
This Saturday (June 3rd) we’re going to celebrate the presence of the Spirit among us by hosting a very special Messy Church. From 4pm to 6pm the staff of Camp Medley will be leading us in all kinds of crafts, stories, songs and fun. If you have family members, neighbours and/or friends with younger children who have a hard time feeling comfortable in a regular church service, this gathering is for them. It’s the perfect gathering for kids who have a hard time sitting still in ‘regular’ church.
Then, on Sunday morning, we will continue our Pentecost celebrations by baptising two brand-new followers of Jesus. I really hope you can join us this weekend as we celebrate God’s Spirit among us together.