Thursday, May 24, 2018

Day of Pentecost 2018

Acts 2:1-6

1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.

Starting with the creation accounts, the witness of scripture reveals innumerable ways the Holy Spirit always has been present on earth. The Day of Pentecost especially celebrates the more spectacular manifestation of the Spirit Jesus' followers experienced after Jesus' Resurrection, after the forty days he spent on earth before his Ascension to sovereignty and authority over all life. Every year we revisit images of visible fire and audible wind as evidence of the HS's presence among us and within us. As with many physical locations of events we read about in scripture, no one knows the exact location of the narrative Luke brings us in chapter 2 of the Acts of the Apostles, but strong tradition claims it was in the same upper room as Jesus' last supper / founding meal we remember on Maundy Thursday.

Speaking in other languages and hearing in the native language of each definitely refers to spoken, verbal language; however, in that place and time almost as much in this year 2018, people needed to comprehend other types of communication that would include cultural habits, body language, social class differences, ethnic styles. Pastor Peg pointed out Jesus is God's Word and words are communication. I mentioned though I hope most of what I produce as a graphic artist-designer is pleasingly artistic, above all I intend to communicate, as de-sign implies.

As the church's year of grace segues into the green and growing season of Pentecost when we number and count Sundays after the Day of Pentecost, we can be confident our baptism / immersion and filling with the Holy Spirit of Pentecost will enable us to live as Jesus's crucified and risen presence everywhere we go. The ELCA's tagline expresses it, "God's work – our hands [and feet and voices and ears and eyes, etc.]."

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