Today is Pentecost Sunday. This is the day the church celebrates the special coming of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of healing and reconciliation. Today we will hear stories of how the Spirit enables us to hear one another, even as we speak different languages. Today we will hear how the Spirit enables us to forgive one another, even though there is pain. Today we will hear how the Spirit unites us, even though there are differences. Today we celebrate God’s great gift to the world, a gift that so often fails to live up to its promise, but a gift none-the-less that brings salt and light to a world that at times seems to lack flavour and is darkened by shadow – that gift is the church.
In today’s service there will be different languages spoken. There will be times when the language spoken is not our own, and because of that we may not understand what is being said. This is often the way of the world. Sometimes we speak out of fear or anger or ignorance or pain and what we say is often not understood by others. And if we are truly being honest – half the time we probably don’t even understand our own words – let alone what others are saying to us..
But even though the language and vocabulary we hear at times may be foreign to us – we have a shared story. A story of love, healing, reconciliation and justice. A story that empowers us to say sorry. A story that empowers us to listen to one another. A story that brings Good News to the world.
On this day we remember that we belong to God and we belong to one another – not just as a theological or community ideal – but because God has breathed the Holy Spirit upon us – and the power of Pentecost has enlivened us with wonder and joy.