O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday)
Spirit of the Living God, Fall Fresh on Us. As we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of God’s Church, I am reminded of a certain breathtaking red vase that lives on a window ledge in my office. This pottery piece was crafted and gifted to me during my seminary years by children of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from my sponsoring parish in Jackson, Mississippi. It was given as a reminder that the Spirit of the Living God lives within every human being and that we are to share the Spirit with any and all around us. More, its rich redness is a symbol of blessing and prosperity for the journey of faith.
The Day of Pentecost strikes me as the perfect day on which you and I are either to restore old or to make new covenants of faithfulness with the Creator who gives us breath. More than two thousand years ago, our Christian ancestors embraced and celebrated the God within and were united because they were able to speak a common language. They were able to speak the hopeful language of one holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic church. Through them, God’s Church was born and the message of God’s love became widespread. Today, we are the heirs and stewards of the redeeming work of Christ to be proclaimed and done in the world at this time and in this place.
May we daily seek ways to be stretched by the Spirit of God and open our hearts increasingly so that we can go where God might lead us. The Spirit of the Living God already has fallen fresh on us. Let our new life with God in Christ begin today. Since Pentecost is our birthday as the body of Christ, let us celebrate and grow together.
– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector