Saint John's in the Village

An Episcopal Church, where in the name of Christ you are always welcome

A Pentecost Message

The experience of Pentecost could possibly bring out the skeptic in most of us. If it cannot be
scrutinized, analyzed or categorized, we seem to have difficulty believing it. However, God the
Holy Spirit invaded the hearts and spirits of women and men then, and continues to do so in an
unexpected manner today.

The day of Pentecost was so called because it was celebrated on the fiftieth ( Greek ~
penetekostos) day after the first barley harvest. It was also known as the “feast of weeks,” and
also as “the day of the first fruits.”

It was on this symbolic day that the power of the Holy Spirits rumblings in that upper room
spilled out into the street below. Saint Luke graphically reflects upon the confusion, amazement,
curiosity, miracle, acceptance and denial of the day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2.
So it is in our own day, amidst the confusion, uncertainty and division that so often seems to rule
the day, I believe that the spirits rumblings and power continue to be rebirthed in our lives;
renewing, refreshing, challenging and changing us. The gift of Pentecost makes the ordinary
extraordinary, as the message of the Spirit calls us into extraordinary relationship with our
awesome God!

In their thought provoking book, Music of Silence – A sacred journey through the hours of the
day, David Steindl-Rast and Sharon Lebell, reflect on the monastic hours of the day
“Now at the third hour of the day the focus is on the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is called down on all
our work, especially in the text of the hymn we chant at this hour. For Terce, (the third hour)
reminds us of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost …………. Others accused the
apostles who were talking in different languages, of being drunk. Filled with the Spirit, Peter
jovially replied, “we are not drunk; after all, it is only the third hour.”

So it is indeed, that the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit is a blessing. One of the hymns speak of
“sober inebriation,” enjoyed by those filled with the Spirit; the Blessing of our Holy God giving
new life, new breath, fresh energy, bursting with vitality and hope.

As a faith community we too can celebrate this glorious gift, because Pentecost tells us that as
God’s beloved we can join God in the holy work of renewing the church and the world.
Pentecost tells us that we are living flames, looking beyond doubt and fear.
Pentecost tells us that we should reach out to ALL God’s people as we seek healing, justice,
peace and reconciliation.
Pentecost tells us that there is a place and space for all at the table.
Pentecost will rekindle within each of us the fire of God’s love, as we seek to renew the face of
the earth, and God’s church.

As we enter these summer days, may we be refreshed with the power of the Spirits grace and
grow in grace during the long green season of Pentecost.

With my prayers and Pentecostal Blessings of grace upon grace!
The Reverend Canon Alan G. Dennis