On the Day of Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, imparted by God in Christ to the people of God, centuries ago. Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.” Our ascended Lord commands us to witness with joy and thanksgiving and in love and service about the gift of the Spirit that lives within us. I am “on fire” knowing such commandments are not to be undertaken alone.
Last week, while serving of the faculty of Episcopal CREDO, an education and wellness program of the Church Pension Group, one of the faculty reflections included pointing to a sign on the walkway leading to the Atlantic Ocean. “Do Not Swim Alone” in bold letters makes it clear to all who can see and read as they approach the water.
The waters of the Christian life are unsafe without companions, and the festival day of Pentecost recounts this for us. It commemorates how the people of God, of all sorts, conditions, and languages mysteriously spoke in numerous tongues, yet with one voice, to reveal their interconnection to God and one another.
This Sunday as we celebrate our birthday as the body of Christ, let us begin again to act on the gift of the Spirit that lives within each of us. This day at St. Peter’s will offer much to set us “on fire” as beacons of hope for the world. I look forward to sharing this new season with you in abiding gratitude for the One who gives us life and breath.
God’s blessings and peace to your journey,
–The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector