Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church - June 6, 2019
This Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost, when the Church marks the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. The Spirit descended upon them like flames of fire, and there was great wind. All around them were amazed, because they suddenly heard these disciples speaking in languages not their own – through gifts that came from the Holy Spirit.
Astounding experience for the disciples and all who heard them. This ability to “speak in tongues” became highly revered in the early Church, and those who had that gift sometimes seemed to place themselves above those who did not have this gift.
Some years later, the Apostle Paul would write these words to the Church in Rome:
All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:14-17
Children of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. In the good times and the bad; in the times of joy and times of suffering and sadness. Just as children in a family often differ in their gifts and abilities, so each of us are given particular gifts and talents. We receive the power of the Holy Spirit in baptism, and then are sent out to share those gifts as we live in the world.
Pentecost marked the beginning of the active ministry of Jesus’ disciples, and the beginning of what we know as The Church. Just as God was made known to many through hearing their own languages, God calls us to welcome and care for all of God’s people, and all of Creation, through our words and our actions; through the good use of all our gifts and talents. By our words and by our actions we proclaim the message of God’s love throughout the world God has entrusted to our care. It is an awesome responsibility – and equally awesome opportunity.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, on the day of Pentecost you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing,