This time of year has a restless energy and power about it, spring brings warmer days and signs of new life. It brings growth and colourful life. There is an anticipation and a looking forward to what lies ahead as we leave behind the darkness and cold days that are the preparation of winter. The poet Gerald Manley Hopkins catches the essence when he says, Growth in everything— Flesh and fleece, fur and feather, Grass and green world all together… Nothing is as beautiful as spring.
All of this makes me think about Pentecost and Pentecost Sunday which is very soon, on the 15th of May this year. After all, Pentecost in so many ways is about God’s restless creative energy, God’s power and the new life and colour it brings; it’s about anticipation and looking forward hopefully, as we trust in the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Our “reasonable trust” is based on the events of that first Pentecost and as you read The Acts of the Apostles, it is clear these were incredible, miraculous moments and times. And perhaps one of the most striking things is how unfazed Peter and the disciples were as all these things happened, they seemed to take it all calmly and in their stride. You have the violent rush of wind, the flames of fire, divided tongues and speaking in other languages, Peter’s simple but powerful speech, a moment in which he became the leader God knew he would be. There is a real sense, almost palpable, of authority and serenity as 3000 people are baptised into faith, the crowds could not deter Peter and the disciples or scare them.
In the tension and incredible drama of these events in Jerusalem, the first Pentecost, it’s as if Peter and the disciples remembered and trusted, heard his voice and believed. They got it, understood, waited faithfully. After all, Jesus did say to them “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Nothing may be as beautiful as spring but perhaps nothing is as beautiful as this sort of Pentecost in our lives.
With love and blessings in Christ, this Pentecost and spring.