June Letter from the Team

Posted on by Tania Birtwistle

Happy Birthday…. Thy Kingdom Come.

 

This year we celebrate Pentecost on the 9th of June, 50 days after the late Easter this year.

The altar frontals and celebrants will be resplendent in Red, and following the Ascension 40 days after the Resurrection, we will sing and hear of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

 

That first occasion was memorably recounted by Luke at the beginning of Acts, chapter 2.  A large and disparate crowd of gathered outside the place where disciples were waiting for the gift promised by the departing Christ. This was a more public, open, waiting than that after the crucifixion and one that attracted a wider, intrigued, or perhaps impartially interested audience.

 

Perhaps no one anticipated the Holy Spirit coming as a rushing wind, with tongues of flames that, rather than harm, transformed the ability of each it touched to communicate. Effectively translating words and meaning, though many different nationalities and dialects were gathered- a repurposing of the chaos of Babel.

 

This Holy Spirit enhanced understanding was for one purpose- spreading the message of God’s love, hope, and salvation far beyond those who had heard it to date.

 

Malcolm Guite’s sonnet encapsulates this beautifully

“…This is the feast of Fire, Air, Water, poured out and breathed and kindled into earth… today the Gospel crosses every border, all tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace.  Today the lost are found in his translation…”

 

Jesus teaches that the Holy Spirit comes in peace, as advocate and teacher, not as a threat; although our ‘comfort zone’ may by discomfited, by listening and acting on what we hear. This peace comes from trust, and teaches us life-changing, living love that, at our best, leads us to aspire to and practice Kingdom values every day. An invitation to us all: are you ready to celebrate?

 

The collect for Pentecost sums this up:

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,

ignite in us your holy fire;

strengthen your children with the gift of faith,

revive your Church with the breath of love,

and renew the face of the earth,

through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Revd. Judy Miller