Sunday is Pentecost. It is unfortunate that churches don’t make a bigger deal of it. Big crowds show up for Easter and Christmas and even Mother’s Day, but Pentecost comes and goes and, often, the preacher hardly notices. That is a shame because it is a day so rich with meaning:
- It is the birthday of the church. On Pentecost, a scattered and scared bunch of women and men suddenly became a powerful movement that swept across the world.
- Pentecost represents spiritual empowerment for ordinary people like you and me. Jesus did amazing things, but he was gone. In his place, though, was a devoted group of disciples working under the power of the Spirit to change the world.
- It is a Holy Day that reminds us of how Jesus had been with us, but, now, in the person of the Spirit, God dwells in us. The fact that we don’t appreciate Pentecost is emblematic of how little awareness we have of God’s abiding presence in our lives.
Churches around the world ought to pull out all the stops to get people to attend worship so they can experience the greatest gift of all: the very breath of life. In fact, the Gospel of John describes the event as the Resurrected Christ breathing on the disciples.
Christianity has been underwater for too long. We need Jesus to come along, pinch our nose, and give us mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. We need the very breath of life breathed into our lungs causing them to swell. We need to feel the healing and empowering Spirit of Life begin to permeate every cell of our body. That is how we become the Body of Christ. We are only a vessel of clay until God breathes the breath of Life into us.
Pentecost is Sunday. I hope you will gather with others in a sanctuary somewhere. Even if the church where you are doesn’t make a big deal of the day you should. All you have to do is sit in that holy space as though you are with Jesus and those first-century disciples in the upper room. As you are there on holy ground, in the presence of God, breathe deeply of the Holy Spirit. Give your body over to the Spirit of Life, and, who knows, you may discover FIRE again!
Rev. Michael Piazza