Today is Sunday the 28th of May, The Feast of Pentecost.
The choir of Holy Sepulchre London sings, ‘Come, Holy Ghost’.
(Lyrics currently unavailable)
Today’s reading is from the Acts of the Apostles.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’
In this remarkable scene we see the disciples receiving extraordinary gifts. Whatever we understand by the gift of tongues as described here, we can be sure that the Holy Spirit has given them confidence and courage. How do you feel about sharing your faith with others?
The visitors to Jerusalem hear God’s word preached to them in familiar words that they can understand clearly. Can you remember a time when God has spoken directly to your heart through the Scriptures or some other means? What did God say and how did you respond at that time? Is it the same now?
As we hear this reading again, are there words or feelings that stay with you specially? Listen not only to the words, but to the response of your own heart and mind.
Jesus promises that God will always give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. The Scriptures list many gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit at work within us and within our world. What gifts do you find yourself wanting to ask for at this moment?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.