In the church calendar, the month of June, ushers in the season of Pentecost. This year the season begins with the celebration of the day of Pentecost on Sunday 5th June, and will continue until November. Pentecost (Greek fiftieth), was a Jewish harvest festival (Feast of Weeks), celebrated 50 days after the Jewish Passover, and it was also a time when the Jews remembered the day when God gave them the ten commandments. This day took on a special meaning when Jesus’ promise of the empowering by the Holy Spirit came true for the first disciples (Acts 2).The Spirit coming was transformational marking a new beginning for the disciples; it marked the end of the period of waiting, of doubt and despair, turning to conviction and expectancy. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples, went on their mission as people with a new sense of power and with incredible courage, and as they ministered, vast numbers of people came to faith in Christ throughout the then known world.
Today there is brokenness and despair in our world: wars and rumours of wars abound, persecution of Christian minority in some places is on the increase, and the oppression of the weak by the strong is unending. Here at home, the cost of living crisis, and the implications for the future is causing a lot of anxiety for many.As Christians, we need the fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit, turning despair, into convictionand expectancy, convertinghope into something transformational for all of us.Let us all be encouraged to draw strength from the Spirit, allowing our hearts and minds to be inspired and uplifted; replacing anxiety with trust.
ThePentecostal Spirit should also challenge and enable us to engage more meaningfully in our faith walk, and with how we connect with other people, and the created world we are living in. We should feel inspired and encouraged to serve others for Jesus’ sake, showing love and compassion to those encountering darkness and suffering in our world.
A good example of the Spirit inspiring and uplifting individuals can be seen in the life and reign of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11, whose Platinum Jubilee celebrations 3rd – 5th June, coincides with Pentecost. The Queen’s sense of duty and her faith have been constants in her life – no doubt her faith has been strengthened, encouraged and challenged by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in and through her life. She says: I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. I know that the only way to live my life is to try and do what is right…to give my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God…I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel. (Christmas 2002).
May the wind of the Holy Spirit, blowing and filling us, sustain and inspire us to become the source of compassion and hope in the midst of the brokenness and despair in our world today.